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Renowned poet Lorna Crozier offers a masterful collection of poems inspired by Diane Laundy and Peter Coffman’s photographs taken in the Frontenac Arch Biosphere in Southwestern Ontario. Beginning in this setting, The House the Spirit Builds extends to include any region, any place that ignites the human mind and heart.

Something astonishing happens when the poems and photos sit side by side and speak to one another in a language that is timeless, lucid and precise: they bring us to a wisdom that might mitigate the damage we do to others and the natural world.

While acknowledging the loss and suffering that infuse our days, the poems and photographs invite us to expand our sense of wonder, our sense that all things are connected, no matter where we live.

An image of a slice of light falling across a tablecloth, a black beetle on a leaf: these poems speak of moments “when the dragonfly lands and grips the skin / on the back of your hand” or “rain stops falling / but / hangs around / like the shape of lust / in bedsheets.” The impressions and expressions vary, but remind us that if we pay attention, even the smallest things can bring us joy and remind us we are not alone in our brief sojourn on this earth.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781771622417
Publisher: Douglas and McIntyre (2013) Ltd.
Publication date: 03/28/2020
Pages: 88
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.20(d)

About the Author

Lorna Crozier is the author of several books including Small Beneath the Sky (Greystone, 2009), The Book of Marvels (Greystone, 2012), and What the Soul Doesn’t Want (Freehand, 2017), which was nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry. She is a professor emerita at the University of Victoria and an officer of the Order of Canada. She lives in North Saanich, BC.

Peter Coffman’s photography has appeared in galleries in Canada and internationally, and in books and periodicals. He is the author and photographer of Camino(Wintergreen Studios Press, 2017) and photographer of Exploring the Capital (Figure 1, 2017). He lives in Ottawa, ON.

Diane Laundy has been a photographer for over eighteen years. Her work has been exhibited in Kingston, Halifax and Almonte and is held in both public and private collections. She lives in Ottawa, ON.

Rena Upitis is the founding president of Wintergreen Studios, a retreat located in the Frontenac Arch where much of the photography in The House the Spirit Builds was done. She is living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, during 2018–2019 and lives permanently in Yarker, ON.

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