COMING SOON! “Skookum Raven”

There are some rough and wild birds around Howe Sound — West Coast avians like the sharp-shinned hawk, the northern harrier, and the whiskey-jack. Heather Haley, an accomplished mapper of human migration, pair-bonding and predation, takes these feathered frenemies as her starting point in this assured third collection, Skookum Raven. Like her foremothers and contemporaries Gwendolyn MacEwen, Susan Musgrave and Karen Solie, Haley writes sophisticated free lyrics of a witchy feminist kind — but adds some proletarian ferocity with her bus-station grandpas and sketches of iffy guys like Ed the Fence. These are astute, austere poems which at times take flight into optimistic beauty — this book is “pockmarked with luck.”

“Tart, taut and terse, Haley’s honed poems of lust and loss, wrath and remorse are imbued with hard-won insight and subversive wit.  Her wry x-ray eye cuts to the quick in an array of deftly drawn portraits that will make you grin with recognition.  Haley masterfully interweaves assonance, consonance and dissonance with flashes of a distilled lyricism.”  – Fiona Tinwei Lam

 Skookum Raven is a text for the tricksters within. With spondaic pow-bams of language, these lyrics harness neologistic energies to evoke punchy lust, back alley bravado, and coastal croonings on sex, the wild, music and time.-Catherine Owen

Heather Haley’s Skookum Raven honours the west coast with brilliant side-eye observations couched in words drawn from a wide palette, from Chinook trade language to Pussy Riot. She brings us on a stroll through the village, showing the underbelly of every house and garden, then deeper into domestic disharmonies and unease in relatedness, writing sharply from a woman’s point of view. If any reader has become lulled with the beauties of west coast living, she will shake you into more fulsome awareness of the “hard blessings” shared. “No lotus-eaters we…”-Joanne Arnott

Praise for Heather Haley:

“The modern poet must deal with our technological/consumer-driven/corporate reality and attempt to find a small space of peace in this world. In Three Blocks West of Wonderland, Heather Haley explores the beauty of nature through a grounded lens without ever ignoring the implications of consumerism and corporatization. These narrative-driven lyrical poems are emotionally raw and go down like a shot of whiskey.” -Daniel Zomparelli

“Haley has the gift of writing to suit her subject in all its raddled variety, from wired and jarring to lyrical and tragic.”-Vancouver Sun




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