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Celebrate National Poetry Month with Read Alberta

Join us in reading Alberta-published poetry collections to celebrate National Poetry Month! The list below includes only a small selection of the plethora of titles available from Alberta poets and publishers— we encourage you to go out into the wild (independent bookstores, libraries, your best friend’s bookcase) and discover more of what Alberta has to offer! 

by dennis cooley

body works is a humorous, tender, irreverent, and meditative examination of the human body as it passes through time, and as it is celebrated and denied. These poems are humorous, intelligent, and poignant, and body works is essential reading for anyone who lives inside a body that lives within the world.

body works

dennis cooley (CA)

Published: Apr 15, 2023 by University of Calgary Press
ISBN: 9781773854496

by Farzana Doctor

This debut poetry collection from acclaimed novelist Farzana Doctor is both an intimate deep dive and a humorous glance at the tumultuous decade of her forties. Through crisp and vivid language, Doctor explores mid-life breakups and dating, female genital cutting, imprints of racism and misogyny, and the oddness of sex and love, and urges us to take a second look at the ways in which human relationships are never what we expect them to be.

You Still Look the Same

Farzana Doctor (CA)

Published: May 01, 2022 by Freehand Books
ISBN: 9781990601057

by Jaspreet Singh

Jaspreet Singh’s second collection of poems locates humans in the Anthropocene, while also warning against the danger of a single story. These pages present intimate engagements with memory, place, language, migration; with enchantment, uncanniness, uneven climate change and everyday decolonization; with entangled human/non-human relationships and deep anxieties about essential/non-essential economic activities. The poems explore strategies for survival and action by way of a playful return to the quotidian and its manifold interactions with the global and planetary.

How to Hold a Pebble

Jaspreet Singh (CA)

Published: Oct 15, 2022 by NeWest Press
ISBN: 9781774390535

by Natalie Meisner

It Begins in Salt wanders the halls of an ocean blue-collar life while rummaging the heart spaces of growing up, and evolves into mothering, labours, and loves. The poems explore the ways the heart grows, and the tentacles of complexity grow and evolve “to infinity”. This book of poems is a love letter to those that share the tides of life. It urges us to love harder and give homage to those loved.

Book Cover: It Begins in Salt by Natalie MeisnerIt Begins in Salt

Natalie Meisner (CA)

Published: March 2023 by Frontenac House Ltd.
ISBN: 9781989466476

by Ouanessa Younsi, translated by Rebecca L. Thompson

Born to a French-Canadian mother and Algerian father, Ouanessa Younsi is a bold and unique voice in modern Francophone poetry. In this intensely personal recitation on identity and ethnicity, Younsi takes the reader on a surreal odyssey through a liminal world of belonging and unbelonging, absence and presence, mind and body. Her visionary work, first published in French and translated here by Rebecca Thompson, is unsettling, riveting and guaranteed to leave readers contemplating the existential mysteries of “self.”

Book Cover: Little Wet-Paint Girl, by Ouanessa Younsi, translated by Rebecca L. ThompsonLittle Wet-Paint Girl

Ouanessa Younsi, translated by Rebecca L. Thompson (CA)

Published: Oct 31, 2022 by Athabasca University Press
ISBN: 9781778290060

by Joe Bishop

Indie Rock candidly focuses on a queer poet/musician’s life in Newfoundland and his personal struggles with addiction, OCD, and trauma. This intelligent and punchy collection is steeped in musicality and the geographies and cadences of Newfoundland. With an astute attention to form, rhythm, and aesthetics, Joe Bishop tells an honest and contemporary coming-of-age story about an artist alienated from, but fascinated by, the world he inhabits. 

Indie Rock

Joe Bishop (CA)

Published: Mar 06, 2023 by University of Alberta Press
ISBN: 9781772126785


by Chief R. Stacey Laforme

In Living in the Tall Grass: Poems of Reconciliation, Chief Stacey Laforme gives a history of his people through stories and poetry to let Canadians see through the eyes of Indigenous people. In it, he hits hard on matters of residential schools, the environment, suicide among Indigenous youth, domestic abuse, and so on, but also writes poems of love and hope.

Living in the Tall Grass: Poems of Reconciliation

R. Stacey Laforme (CA)

Published: Jan 28, 2018 by Durvile Publications Ltd.
ISBN: 9781988824055

Discover more poetry books at your local independent bookstore!

And don’t forget — Saturday, April 29 is Canadian Independent Bookstore Day.