A Difficult Beauty
104 pages | ISBN 978-1-894987-57-8
David Groulx’s collection offers his readers a handful of poems as cutting and brilliant as glass shards, offering glimpses of the anger, pain and lost beauties of his ancestors. These poems cut deep with their clear-eyed honesty, their stripped-away pain and suffering. A subtle weaving of black humour and fleeting touches of beauty, as well at the careful craftsmanship of the writing make these poems iconic. This is a collection that should not be missed.
READ INDIGENOUS: A Difficult Beauty (All Lit Up, 29/10/2018)
"The poems in David Groulx's A Difficult Beauty are honest, thoughtful glimpses of life on a reserve, of the pain and anger of his ancestors, told with subtly dark humour."
Poets in Profile: David Groulx (Ashliegh Gehl, Open Book: Ontario, 24/02/2012).
Related reading: a roundup of First Nations and Métis titles (Prairie Books Now, 01/04/2012).
“This collection tells the stories of urban realities and reservation memories, of radioactive mining towns and traditional ceremonies, in images and rhythms that are sometimes harsh and sometimes gentle, but always evocative.”
Hard Fought: David Groulx's A Difficult Beauty (Shane Rhodes, ARC Poetry Magazine, 12/09/2013)
“Many of the poems in A Difficult Beauty are anecdotes, small stories, often about Groulx’s family history or the people around him. They are good stories, well told, and poignant for their shortness and surprise.”
A Difficult Beauty by David Groulx (Norma Dunning, Canadian Poetries, 29/04/2013)
"Don’t stop Mr. Groulx. You make us stronger - telling the reality that government hides in policy and the media who makes us out to be the bad guy. We’ve waited a long time to have anyone hear our voices.... This is a book of truth, difficult truth, real truth, beautiful truth."
Review (Mary Barnes, Prairie Fire Review of Books, 14/01/2013).
“Groulx’s volume is full of yearnings, pain, and frustration; the writing is honest, lucid, and relentless in its efforts to understand the injustices heaped upon an unsuspecting but thriving culture.”
A tale of two Davids (George Elliott Clarke, The Chronicle Herald, 12/08/2012).
"There is tenderness in Groulx; there is beauty alongside difficulty. But he has thunderbolts to throw — to illuminate consciousness and rock consciences — and he throws them, to overthrow complacency.”
Pathos and Presence (Michelle La Flamme, Canadian Literature, 6/6/2012).
"This collection of poetry is a passionate snapshot of poignant aspects of life on the rez depicted in simple scenes that are propelled forward with a sparse economy of language. It is little wonder that Groulx has won awards for his poetry and it has appeared globally in over one hundred periodicals."
Review (The Midwest Book Review, 01/02/2012).
"The truth is often all too brutal to be embraced. ‘A Difficult Beauty’ … presents poetry that is honest about the charm and beauty of life as well as the failure and loss.”
Review (Jorge Antonio Vallejos, Black Coffee Poet, 16/01/2012).
"Groulx’s poems were beautiful, well crafted, they captured everyone’s attention, and they were also hard to listen to. Poems about the assault on Mother Earth, white on red racism, cops killing Native men and getting away with it, Groulx laid it all out."
Review (Priscila Uppal, RCI Biblio-File, 11/01/2012). Priscila Uppal discusses A Difficult Beauty on Radio Canada International's Biblio-File.
A Difficult Beauty
Read an excerpt from A Difficult Beauty
"Poetry was the one thing I held on to." (Trish Allison, APTN National News, 03/04/2012).
Ojibwe Poet David Groulx Reads His Poetry (Jorge Antonio Vallejos, Black Coffee Poet, 20/01/2012).
About the Author
David Groulx was raised in the Northern Ontario mining community of Elliot Lake. He is proud of his Native roots – his mother is Ojibwe Indian and his father French Canadian. David studied creative writing at the En’owkin Centre in Penticton, BC, in 1998–1999, where he won the Simon J. Lucas Jr. Memorial Award for poetry. He has written three previous poetry collections: Night in the Exude (Tyro Publications, 1997); The Long Dance (Kegedonce Press, 2000); and Under god’s pale bones (Kegedonce Press, 2010). David’s poetry has appeared in over 100 periodicals in England, Australia, Germany, Austria and the US. He lives in a log home near Ottawa.