Shimmers of Light: New and Selected Poems

Author: Robert Currie
ISBN: 9781771872188 Categories: Poetry, Canadian Tags: , , , , ,
Publication Date: 18 March, 2022
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5"

Robert Currie’s Shimmers of Light: New and Selected Poems uses the vernacular of ordinary working people to tell stories and sing songs of small-town prairie life. Like Alden Nowlan, or more recently, Billy Collins, this poet constructs poems from the unvarnished wood of common language—there’s no veneer, no glossing over here.

These poems “work like small exquisite time machines . . .” writes poet Lorna Crozier in her introduction to this extensive collection of work dating from the 1970s to the present day. Currie’s poems powerfully evoke the reality of prairie life, with a frequent focus on the hard exteriors men and boys are expected to present to the world, despite the swarm of doubt and conflict roiling inside them. The characters who populate these poems are subject to difficult weather, internal and external, but their lives are sometimes illuminated by “a sudden radiance”: a deeper understanding of self, a breathtaking expanse of sky, the generosity of a friend or lover.

The beauty of the unflinching rhythm and cadence of the poems brings light to the darker corners of even the most painful times. From a father’s tenderness in the face of his young son’s fears, to the death of a lifelong friend from ALS, to earlier narrative poems about depression-era deprivation and hardship, this work is carefully crafted, deeply honest, and open-hearted. With a foreword by Lorna Crozier and an afterword by Mark Abley.

About the Author

Poet and fiction writer Robert Currie is a founding board member of the Saskatchewan Festival of Words, a former chairman of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild, a recipient of the Saskatchewan Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts, and a former Saskatchewan Poet Laureate. His work has appeared in numerous literary magazines and more than sixty anthologies. He is the author of twelve books, including poetry, short story collections, and a novel. He lives in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, where he taught for thirty years at Central Collegiate, winning the Joseph Duffy Memorial Award for excellence in teaching language arts. His new book, Shimmers of Light: New and Selected Poems, presents selections from a lifetime of writing.


Praise for Shimmers of Light:

“It is with boundless gratitude that I open and reopen the pages of this book.”
—Mark Abley, award-winning author

“Robert Currie’s poetic matchmaking is among the things I am grateful for when I enter again the generous, prairie-centric world of his poems, including the new ones in this collection, and when I revisit his poignant charting of the losses we must carry as we try, with the help of his words, to savour ‘the marvellous moment that is now.’”
—Lorna Crozier, award-winning poet and memoirist

“Currie’s keenly observant eye and his reverence for the quotidian pleasures of middle-class life continue unabated….Lovers of poetry can only hope that this book is not Robert Currie’s finale.”
—Bruce Whiteman / Toronto Star
Read the full review here.

“Even in his earliest work, I see this poet was doing a kind of singing. We need more singing. And the world could use more Bob Curries.”
—Shelley A. Leedahl / SaskBooks Reviews
Read the full review here.



2023 Poetry Award (Saskatchewan Book Awards)

Read an Excerpt

Download an excerpt from Shimmers of Light here

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