Book Launch and Reading


About the Book

This collection of both narrative and lyrical poetry moves between two strong voices that resonate with and against one another, a woman and a man, focusing on family relationships in all their intersections and differences. The poems are about daughters, granddaughters, son, mothers, spouses, and deal with love, sorrow, joy, loss, redemption: the stuff of living. Weaving through the collection are the words and spirit of Virginia Woolf, who has affected and inspired both poets over the course of their writing, parenting, teaching, and being.

“This co-authored collection (by two already established and provocative poets) is seamless; refashioning themes and tropes from translucent prose by that arch feminist Virginia Woolf, woven by them into luminescent poetry…. The result is invention and intervention, a re-creative of her indomitable spirit….”

— Anne Burke, Chair, The Feminist Caucus of the League of Canadian Poets

“This book is a profound, moving, engaging read. This primal Papa and alma Mater sing sweetly, not in unison but in dialogue, recalling joys and pains of parenthood. Words awash in the love that holds families together resound with goodness and grief, through push and pull of personal relations, through happiness and hardship, responsibilities and regrets. Moreover, these poems let the language of children pervade the language of parents and grandparents: the words are fresh and revitalizing. Reading these poems is like gazing upon a core sample extracted from the depths of kinship. Their words glint and sparkle like flecks of mica, feldspar, rarest metals and crystals that grow under the intense pressure of weening, preening and setting free humanity.”

— Kedrick James, poet and scholar


About the Authors

Renee Norman, PhD, is a prize-winning poet, writer, and retired educator. Her poetry book, True Confessions (Inanna), was awarded the Helen and Stan Vine Canadian Jewish Book Award for poetry. She is also the author of 2 other books of poetry, Backhand Through the Mother, and Martha in the Mirror (Inanna). She received the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies Distinguished Dissertation Award for House of Mirrors: Performing Autobiograph(icall)y in Language/Education, published by Peter Lang, NY. Previously she worked as a classroom teacher in public schools, an arts educator, a university professor, and school board consultant. She lives in Coquitlam, BC.

Carl Leggo is a poet and professor in the Department of Language and Literacy Education at the University of British Columbia. His books include: Growing Up Perpendicular on the Side of a Hill; View from My Mother’s House; Come-By-Chance; Lifewriting as Literary Métissage and an Ethos for Our Times (co-authored with Erika Hasebe-Ludt and Cynthia Chambers); Creative Expression, Creative Education (co-edited with Robert Kelly); Sailing in a Concrete Boat: A Teacher’s Journey; Arresting Hope: Women Taking Action in Prison Health Inside Out (co-edited with Ruth Martin, Mo Korchinski, and Lynn Fels); and Arts-based and Contemplative Practices in Research and Teaching: Honoring Presence (co-edited with Susan Walsh and Barbara Bickel). He lives in Steveston, BC.


Inanna Publications: