A Hat to Stop a Train
88 pages | ISBN 0-919897-89-4
"Tight and tighter, the mother binding her daughter to her, the daughter binding the mother's aching legs. Sheila Stewart 'puts down words to get closer' to a mother whose ashes are away in Ireland, but she achieves much more than a remembrance – this is a collection of tight, spare poems laced with Celtic wit, wry and askance, and astonishing imagery for the complexities of family. Stewart has a confident command of poetic form, and these poems are honed sharp enough to prickle your eyes, startle your heart." – Maureen Hynes
"Stewart's living 'Mum's Museum' offers a gentle interrogation of family stories, probing between the sayable for what couldn't be said, for threads of dis/connection, glimpses of remembered feasts, 'dates dripping honey, slices of heaven, slivers of earth, promises.' A shy love song: a tender poetic debut." – Di Brandt
"Sheila Stewart traces and retraces the complex geography of grief until its contours come clear in these angry, loving poems of loss and reclamation." – Rhea Tregebov
Review (Jeffery Donaldson, University of Toronto Quarterly, 12/1/2004)
"Stewart's language is slightly more intense than the merely conversational, and while the language is not particularly eidetic in its impression, you appreciate its competent and earnest evocation."
About the Author
Sheila Stewart has had her poetry widely published in literary journals like The Malahat Review, Grain, Descant, and The New Quarterly, as well as in her own collections, A Hat to Stop a Train (Wolsak & Wynn, 2003) and The Shape of a Throat (Signature Editions, 2012). Sheila's currently a lecturer and writing instructor at the University of Toronto. A position that gives Sheila a lot of experience with new voices.