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McClelland & Stewart, Spring 2019

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By (author): Doyali Islam
9780771005596 Paperback, Trade English General Trade POETRY / Canadian Mar 26, 2019
$21.00 CAD
Active 5.79 x 8.46 x 0.36 in 120 pages McClelland & Stewart
From award-winning Toronto-based poet Doyali Islam comes a second collection of poems that investigates rupture and resilience.

How does one inhabit a world in which “the moon / & the drone hang in the same sky”? How can one be at home in one’s own body in the presence of suspected autoimmune illness, chronic/recurrent pain, and a society that bears down with a particular construct of normal female sexual experience? What might a daughter salvage within a fraught relationship with a cancer-stricken father? Uncannily at ease with both high lyricism and formal innovation and invention, these poems are unafraid to lift up and investigate burdens and ruptures of all kinds—psychic, social, cultural, physical, and political.

Providing continuity over the poet’s visually-arresting forms—including Islam’s self-termed split sonnets, double sonnets, and parallel poems—is allied remembrance of the resilience of the Palestinian people. Yet, the work doesn’t always stray far from home, with a quintet of astro-poems that weave together myth and memory.

Here is a poet small in stature, unwilling to abandon to silence small histories, small life forms, and the small courages and beauties of the ordinary hour. In these rigorous, intimate, and luminous poems, the spirit of the everyday and the spirit of witness bind fiercely to one another. heft is a ledger of tenderness, survival, and risk.

Story Locale: Contemporary

Series Overview: McClelland & Stewart is committed to publishing work by Canadian poets whose work engages and excites, and who stand out because of the distinctiveness of their voices, their rigorous dedication to craft, and the scope of their imaginations.


AUDIENCE: For general poetry readers, in particular fans of poets like Solmaz Sharif, Saskia Hamilton, Phoebe Wang, and Jacob McArthur Mooney.

CONSISTENT RECOGNITION: 2017 National Magazine Awards finalist for three poems, 2017 League of Canadian Poets’ inaugural National Broadsheet Contest winner, 2016 Arc Poetry Magazine Poem of the Year grand-prize winner, 2015 Contemporary Verse 2 Young Buck Prize grand-prize winner, 2010 Contemporary Verse 2 Thirty-fifth Anniversary Contest grand-prize winner.

DOYALI ISLAM’s poems have been published in Kenyon Review Online, The Fiddlehead, and The Best Canadian Poetry in English, and have won several national contests and prizes. Doyali serves as the poetry editor of Arc Poetry Magazine. In 2017, she was a guest on CBC Radio’s The Sunday Edition and was a poetry finalist for the National Magazine Awards. She lives in Toronto, Ontario. heft is her second collection of poetry.

Author Residence: Toronto, ON

Publicity: Limited review coverage in outlets like the Globe and Mail

Poetry launch - Toronto

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Author Website:

Author Social Media: @doyali_is

Praise for Doyali Islam:

“[Islam’s] poetry fuses Emily Dickinson (1830-86) and Allen Ginsberg (1926-97). There’s ecstasy in finding the divine, but there’s a lot of ’shit’ (her term) on earth—in the messiness of relationships as well as in the squalor of socio-economic inequality…. Islam is a poet of capacious heart and sagacious mind.”—George Elliott Clarke, author of I & I

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