Monica Kidd’s Handfuls of Bone takes the reader to the end of the road and back, to outports both literal and figurative, to consider how it is that things somehow hold together. The poems, primarily short, narrative in form and lyric in spirit, are driven by distilled observation and concern themselves with the elemental. These truths find their expression in images of fish drying on Newfoundland clotheslines, of the velvety breath of a newborn baby, of a family’s grief following a sudden death, of Amelia Earhart’s ambition and apprehension, and of motherhood through thick and thin. In confronting uncomfortable moments of loss, want, illness, uncertainty and conflict, Kidd holds a level gaze, avoiding sentimentality and nostalgia. Kidd’s is a poetic which embodies the twin skills of her physician’s training cool-headed and unblinking observation-based diagnosis combined with compassion, empathy and humanity.
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Monica Kidd grew up on the Alberta prairies. Her previous literary works include two novels (Beatrice and The Momentum of Red), a book of non-fiction (Any Other Woman: An Uncommon Biography) and two collections of poetry (Actualities and Handfuls of Bone). Her short experimental films have shown in Atlantic Canada and in Amsterdam. She has worked as a seabird biologist and as a reporter for CBC Radio, where her news items and documentaries have won numerous awards. Kidd presently lives in Calgary, Alberta, where, as well as writing, she works as a medical doctor and tends to her young family.
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