Concrete and Wild Carrot

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Brick Books, 2002 - Poetry - 87 pages
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Winner of the 2003 Griffin Poetry Prize and of the 2003 CAA Jack Chalmers Poetry Award and Globe 100 book for 2003

In Margaret Avison’s new poems, little pleasures are bound up with larger ones. Her slightest subjects — beloved Toronto parks with their population of oaks, firs, squirrels, dogs, kids, even ants, and the minutest sighs of her contemporary urban soundscape — all have their being within an immense composition that calls and hauls us to a largeness, a category-breaking “always unthinkable” beyond.

”Words have their life too, won’t/ compact into a theorem,” Avison says, and this is certainly true of hers.

To myself everywhere:
Cry out, “Break!” Break
all our securities, and break out!
Explore only the ranges
beyond our mastering. Take on
the inexorable demands made by
a norm of unpremeditated excellence!

from “Alternatives to Riots but all Citizens Must Play”

Concrete and Wild Carrot is Margaret Avison’s sixth book of poems, her first with Brick Books — though we now distribute her Lancelot Press books. She is one of Canada’s most respected writers, still at the top of her form in a career that stretches back to the 1940s, and during which she has gained three honorary degrees and two Governor General’s Awards for Poetry (for Winter Sun and No Time).

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Contents

Pacing the Turn of the Year
7
Ambivalence
20
Other Oceans
34
Cycle of Community
47
Leading Questions
60
Copyright

About the author (2002)

Margaret Avison was born April 23, 1918 in Galt, Ontario. She was raised in Regina and Calgary. She earned her degree from the University of Toronto, 1936 to 1940 and her M.A. from 1963 to 1965. She spent 8 months in Chicago on a Guggenheim Scholarship and two years' teaching at Scarborough College, University of Toronto from 1967 to 1968. She worked for eight months from 1973 to 1974 at the University of Western Ontario as Writer-in-Residence. Avison has won several leading awards; two of her books have won the Governor General's Award and her book Concrete and Wild Carrot won the Griffin Poetry Prize in 2003. Margaret Avison died in August 2007 in Toronto.

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