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April 2009
Susan Musgrave
ISBN 978-1-926655-01-7
4.5 by 7 inches
Full colour cover
64 pages $16.95

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Obituary of Light: the Sangan River Meditations

by Susan Musgrave

This new book of poems is a sequence of reflections, of mindful blessings, on the everyday goings-on around her home on the Sangan River, ten miles outside Masset on the Queen Charlotte Islands/Haida Gwaii. They were written the year her friend, a local beachcomber, Paul Bower, whose logs were used to build her seven-sided house, died of lung cancer.

Listen to Susan read from the book at the Vancouver Public Library. Thank you to Warren Dean Fulton of pooka press for the video. Click here.

Review Excerpts:

Karl Jirgens, writing in Canadian Literature: "Musgrave's vision, informed by fierce love, weaves devoted recollections, quotidian observations, Anishnabi perspectives, and the narrator's thoughts projected onto the envioronment, revealing "self," "other," and "all," as one." Full review.

Jennifer Boire, writing in Vallum: "Knowing the notoriety of one of Canada's well-known poets, I open this tiny book, the size of a prayer book or missal, not knowing what to expect. Right away I begin to savour the Zen-like musing of the first lines ... the poet distils the essence of words the way a good haiku shines a light on a brief moment in time ... the book is rich in wisdom, rich in insight, and well worth the discovery."

Robert Priest, writing in Pacific Rim Review of Books: "...this volume is a definite turning point. It gives us a new deeper Musgrave, a friendlier, more mystic seawitch if you like, neither a tart nor a mugger, but simply this: a true poet capable of addressing the great themes and sufferings of human kind in a way that is readable and re-readable."

Karin Cope, writing in The Dalhousie Review: "Of all the books, this is my favourite, the one that I will keep on my bedside table and reread. Its stark lines are freighted with wisdom deep enough that I've yet to scrape bottom."

Susan Musgrave's most recent novel was Cargo of Orchids (Knopf) and latest collection of poetry was What the Small Day Cannot Hold: Collected Poems 1970-1985 (Beach Holme). You're in Canada Now…A Memoir of Sorts was published in the fall of 2005, by Thistledown.

She has been nominated, and has received awards, in five different categories of writing: poetry, fiction, non-fiction, personal essay, children's writing and for her work as an editor. She teaches poetry in the University of British Columbia's Optional-Residency MFA in Creative Writing Programme. She presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by Pandora's Collective in 2010.

She lives on Haida Gwaii.

Susan Musgrave has a website at susanmusgrave.com.

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