Put Flowers Around Us and Pretend We're Dead: New and Selected Poems
April 4, 2023
200 Pages | ISBN 978-1-989496-59-6
Put Flowers Around Us and Pretend We’re Dead is a beautiful collection of Catherine Graham’s award-winning poetry. Spanning twenty years of writing these poems trace Graham’s arc from ARC Poetry Magazine’s initial observation that “Graham is a young poet whose work should be closely attended to” to the Toronto Star writing “Catherine Graham’s seventh book of poetry is an intricate reverie.” Poems within this collection circle around profound themes, including family, healing, loss and love, but they are written with a delight in the natural world, a delicate line and ethereal imagery. Here, birds are gathered in bouquets, a ghost is a fold in the mind and the snow holds light. Put Flowers Around Us and Pretend We’re Dead is a must-have volume from a much-loved poet.
“These poems are so good, so well constructed and finely tuned they seem to come from a timeless place, one rich with myth, both classical and newly imagined, yet within and underneath the words there’s the sound of a watch ticking, ticking. This is a book to keep by your bedside, to read when you dream and when you awaken. The poems will disturb, they will shatter, they will mend. They do what a poem in these troubled times can do.”
– Lorna Crozier, author of God of Shadows and What the Soul Doesn’t Want
Catherine Graham is a poet, novelist and creative writing instructor. She is the author of six acclaimed poetry collections, including The Celery Forest, a CBC Best Book of the Year and finalist for the Fred Cogswell Award for Excellence in Poetry. Her Red Hair Rises with the Wings of Insects was a finalist for the Raymond Souster Award and CAA Poetry Award and her debut novel, Quarry, was a finalist for the Sarton Women’s Book Award for Contemporary Fiction and Fred Kerner Book Award and won the Miramichi Reader’s “The Very Best!” Book Award and an Independent Publisher Book Awards’ gold medal for Fiction. She holds an MA in creative writing from Lancaster University (UK). Her poems have been translated into Greek, Serbo-Croatian, Bangla, Chinese and Spanish and have appeared in The Malahat Review, Arc Poetry Magazine, Glasgow Review of Books, Exile Quarterly, The Fiddlehead, Poetry Daily, Poetry Ireland, Gutter Magazine and have been broadcast on BBC Radio Ulster, anthologized in The White Page / An Bhileag Bhan: Twentieth Century Irish Women Poets and The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing, Vol IV & V. A finalist for the Montreal International Poetry Prize, she has won the Arc Award of Awesomeness and her poems have been nominated for the 2020 National Magazine Award by Exile Magazine. She teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto where she won an Excellence in Teaching Award. A previous winner of the Toronto International Festival of Authors’ Poetry NOW, she leads their monthly book club and is also an interviewer for By the Lake Book Club. Visit her online at www.catherinegraham.com and @catgrahampoet.
Æther: An Out-of-Body Lyric (2021)
The Celery Forest (2017)