Paperback / softback
February 19, 2020
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
.35 Pounds (US)
$19.99 USD, £15.99 GBP
v2.1 Reference

To float, to drown, to close up, to open

In this collection, E. Alex Pierce enters the territory of memory embedded in landscape where "language tied to the land" evokes the cadence of tidal rivers and creates a fluid world. She traces the fragmented childhood beginnings that lead to the formation of a young artist who moves from music, through theatre, to poetry. The passionate relationships and complex juxtapositions of art and performance that form an artist's life find voice here in the symphonic structure of the long poem, the provocative individual prose poems, and the final stretched sonnet sequence that interrogates a lost love, "Still. Shimmering in the morning wind. And gone." These fiercely poised works are layered and rich, with sensuous attention to line and breath: a major work from an accomplished poet.And in that space of summer afternoon, the image born of soundand light inhabits all her blood and bone, the mind ignites. She seesthe fire – space for her is stage now, theatre is the flame. She sees itburning all the way back to the Sable River, the lamp, the voices,the two old people, in the dark,without wall or roof or postor beam – and even as her father buries refusein the cellar hole, turns all this under, sheseizes it, picks up her torch,and runs.—from the title poem

About the Author

E. Alex Pierce, author of Vox Humana, lives in East Sable River, Nova Scotia. She conducts manuscript review workshops throughout Canada, and is Senior Editor at Boularderie Island Press. Pierce holds an MFA from Warren Wilson College and for ten years taught Creative Writing at Cape Breton University. Her work has been widely anthologized and published in literary journals. Her most recent publications are Aubade: Poetry and Prose from Nova Scotia Writers (Editor) and Salt and Wild: Shelburne County Anthology (Co-editor).


"Pierce creates movements in the rhythm of the estuary of Sable River, where she grew up, opening, closing up, floating and drowning as consistently as moon directs the tides. Hers is a poetry of attentiveness, reaching back through the years and into the future without sentimentality" [Full review at]—Joan Shillington, Freefall Magazine


"We are immersed in Pierce's baptismal font of words, held deeply, only to emerge into a new air, made over, revived by a poetry of the rarest beauty. 'The Creek' surely is a masterpiece, a world poem created from the cross currents of the heart and the gold-brown waters of the Sable River."—Harry Thurston, author of Keeping Watch at the End of the World
University of Alberta Press
Robert Kroetsch Series

9781772124538 : to-float-to-drown-to-close-up-to-open-pierce
Paperback / softback
96 Pages
$19.99 USD

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