Dying a Little
104 pages | ISBN 978-1-894987-58-5
Award-winning poet Barry Dempster’s latest collection embraces the fragility of life and the bitterness of endings. Ghosts of his father and mother haunt the pages and friends face battles with cancer, some losing, some not, while the poet himself is all too aware of the passage of time on his own frame. This is not a gentle book, but in his wrestling with death Dempster gives voice to the pain that many others have felt. Yet with his deft turn of phrase and fresh imagery he also startles his readers, and leaves them questioning their own expectations of life and its alternative.
Review (Kimmy Beach, Freefall, 01/01/2013)
"Dempster’s skill is such that he can take the oldest story on the earth – the loss of people we love – and make you feel like you’re reading it for the first time. He tears you apart, brings you to tears and makes you laugh: sometimes all on the same page.”
Review (Elizabeth Greene, Prairie Fire Review of Books, 03/07/2012)
"This book is exceptional – carefully structured, beautifully written without a false word, taking us face to face with illness, death and grief, and turning back at points, to life. By the end, we have experienced the other world without ever leaving the poet’s home territory north of Toronto."
Review (Anne Burke, The Prairie Journal, 12/1/2011).
“His tone is realistic, ironic, and somewhat cynical.”
Dying a Little
Read an excerpt from Barry Dempster's Dying a Little
About the Author
Barry Dempster was born in Toronto, Ontario, and educated in child psychology. He is the author of a novel, a children's book, two volumes of short stories and eleven collections of poetry. He has been nominated for the Governor General's Award twice; for his first book, Fables for Isolated Men, and most recently for The Burning Alphabet, which won the Canadian Authors Association Chalmers Award for poetry. From 1990 to 1997, he was Poetry and Reviews Editor for Poetry Canada. Presently, he is Senior Acquisitions Editor with Brick Books. In 2010, he was a finalist for the Ontario Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. He has been on the faculty at The Banff Centre as mentor for the Writing Studio, Wired Writing and Writing with Style programs; has conducted master classes all across the country and as far away as Chile; and has been the Writer-in-Residence at the Richmond Hill Public Library twice. His most recent books include Love Outlandish, Ivan’s Birches and Blue Wherever.