Paperback / softback
March 7, 2016
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.35 Pounds (US)
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v2.1 Reference

Sleeping in Tall Grass

"My emptiness will not befrenetic with the frictionof my father's silencesbut still as the unmarked gravesof his many forgotten selves"—From "Salt"A cycle of poems, Sleeping in Tall Grass takes an unsparing look at a painful, sometimes abusive, yet strangely redemptive family story enfolded within the body of the Canadian prairie itself—at once physical, historical, and metaphysical. These intensely personal poems reflect the complex relationships between sound and space, language and silence. Treating time as more layered than sequential, they reflect a process of organic composition distilled from Therrien's iterative observations and utterances. This is writing that reaches "into the very grain of existence"—a sonorous re-presentation of the human presence on the dispassionate but eternally giving plains.

About the Author

Poet and editor Richard Therrien has worked at a number of occupations, including landscape labourer, photography instructor, filmmaker, and speech writer. Born and raised on—and a repeated escapee from—the Canadian prairie, he has published across North America and currently works and lives in North Vancouver.


"'Sleeping in Tall Grass' is an outstanding first poetry collection.... In the opening long poem, 'Nowhere in Sight,' Therrien uses the physical experience of walking across the prairie as a metaphor for poetry while a walking rhythm sparks spiritual insight.... Sleeping in Tall Grass is a wise book, erudite and philosophical at times but foremost a spiritual and redemptive work." Volume 15, Issue 1 [Full review at]—Gillian Harding-Russell, The Goose

"It's a complex and multi-layered book, offering poems that are rooted in the prairie landscape, featuring a multitude of voices that speak to the familial, the historical, the philosophical and the mystical. Many of the poems are dark, weighted and at times exquisitely painful.... The personal stories he deconstructs show how the speaker submits, turns back to the land that begat him, until he sleeps in tall grass, until readers hear in 'Envoy,' the final poem, 'a voice singing of its own forgetting.'"—Anne Sorbie, Alberta Views

"I appreciate Richard Therrien's Sleeping in Tall Grass for its vulnerability, its intimate explorations of personal histories, family struggles, and the inevitability of both life and death. He offers vivid scenes, rich with feeling and emotional maturity, that give the reader powerful glimpses into the poet's eye.... [H]is colourful treatment of the prairies captures sounds and sights with exactness; I could imagine Therrien in every scene, present on every page." Canadian Literature 234 (Autumn 2017) [Full review at]—Jeffrey Aaron Weingarten

9781772121223 : sleeping-in-tall-grass-therrien
Paperback / softback
104 Pages
$19.95 USD

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