Bronwen Wallace

My devotion to Bronwen Wallace began with a recitation competition at my former high school, where I was a volunteer judge. When a slip of a girl recited the crushing "The Woman in This Poem," I knew I was going to have to find that poem. I've got Gary Geddes' 15 Canadian Poets X2, which includes it, but I'm still on the hunt for the original source, Wallace's Signs of the Former Tenant. (I don't buy online, only in person, but that may have to change!)

I've since fallen hard for Keep That Candle Burning Bright (poems about and inspired by Emmylou Harris), and I calmly enjoy the short stories in People You'd Trust Your Life To, but the point of this post is that right now I'm making myself work s-l-o-w-l-y through The Stubborn Particulars of Grace.

Wallace had such grace to her lines, and there's such intimacy in the details and how she turns to address embedded or imagined listeners. I'm so jealous of her (and of Tim Bowling for writing The Witness Ghost, while I'm admitting that sort of thing). It's so difficult to read slowly, because I just want to get onto the next poem!


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