Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Wednesday’s Featured Poetry: Thin Moon Psalm by Sheri Benning

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Wednesday’s Featured Poetry: Thin Moon Psalm by Sheri Benning

Thin Moon Psalm
by Sheri Benning
Brick Books, 2007
96 pages

Fierce and delicate poems from a young poet reminiscent of Jane Hirshfield and Jan Zwicky.

Rapt, musical, passionately engaged, the poems in Thin Moon Psalm move towards their own inner stillness, while also bearing witness to the power of relatedness – to family, lovers, and the prairie landscape itself. Many of them are poems of remembrance and deep grieving, recalling in etched details the rigours and joys of life on a prairie farm, and those iconic moments which are alive with the unspoken – moments between father and daughter, mother and child, sister and sister, lover and lover, poet and friend. Especially they take on the burden of what is lost, knowing "There is always a room we will never return to" and "we return only through loss: the place where we began."

The great horned owl underfeather you found

suspended on brome teaches you about the near

imperceptibility of grief. About thinness.

How light, hardly snared by down,

filters through and changes just-so

and so grief wears you, makes

you its slight shadow.

From "The Breath of Looking"

Sheri Benning grew up on a small farm in central Saskatchewan and now lives in Saskatoon. She has also lived in St. Petersburg (Russia), Fredericton, and Edmonton. Her first book, Earth After Rain, won the Anne Szumigalski Poetry Prize (Saskatchewan Book Awards) and the Brenda MacDonald Riches First Book Award. An earlier version of Thin Moon Psalm won the 2004 Writers Federation of New Brunswick Alfred G. Bailey Prize for unpublished manuscripts.

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