Share this post!

Last Modified: April 11, 2021
Feature image for Monday Poems series featuring the cover image for Exhibit by Paul Zits
Monday Poems: Exhibit by Paul Zits

National Poetry Month is here! We’re celebrating by sharing poems every Monday to brighten or, in today’s case, darken your week. We’ve collected poems from the Alberta Reads Book Club shortlist and today’s Monday poem is from Exhibit by Paul Zits, the selected title for the March-April edition of the book club. There’s still time to join the conversation! Find details about the club here.  

In the winter of 1926, Margaret McPhail went on trial for the murder of her brother, Alex, and throughout, maintained her innocence. Exhibit, more than a poetic retelling of her trial, chronicles the path to a verdict, misstep by misstep. Folded into these poems, helping to give them their current, at times strange and potent vision, are cuts from a broad variety of sources, including primary source materials, interviews, fairy tales, the history of feminist film, and more. 


Ice blond

Margaret is devoid of colour, ice blond

with hair in a bun spun like a vortex

She prods stars along the sky with a stick

looks for smoke plumes that come

from birds that ignite in midair

She is footage projected upside down

With her feet, she retrieves the streamers, their feathers

charred too severely for flight

and then stays out in the rain picking carrots

and then stays out in the rain picking carrots


From Exhibit by Paul Zits (University of Calgary Press 2019)

Paul Zits is a teacher and poet who lives in Calgary, Alberta. He is the author of Massacre Street, which won the 2014 Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry, and Leap-seconds, which won the 2016 Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry.

At the end of National Poetry Month, we are giving away a prize pack containing the poetry collections from our Monday Poems series including Exhibit by Paul Zits. Sign up for our newsletter to win! If you’re already signed up, you’re already entered! This giveaway is open to Canadian residents.


Paul Zits (CA)

Published: Jan 31, 2019 by University of Calgary Press
ISBN: 9781773850689