Silvija by Sandra Ridley


Silvija by Sandra Ridley


September 28, 2016 | Poetry
7×7 inches | 96 pages
Condition: New
Trade Paper: 9781771662642

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SKU: 201618 Categories: ,

Finalist for the 2017 Griffin Poetry Prize for Excellence

Finalist for the 2017 Archibald Lampman Award

49th Shelf Most Anticipated Fall 2016 Poetry Preview Selection

Grief is personal and unpredictable; no two people experience it the same way, and yet, each person that comes out the other side is transformed by their experience of loss and redemption.

In a sequence of five feverish elegies, Sandra Ridley’s Silvija combines narrative lyric and experimental verse styles to manifest dark themes related to love and loss: the traumas of psychological suffering (isolation and confinement), physical abuse (by parent and partner), terminal illness (brain tumour and heart attack), revelation, resolution, and healing. Pulsing with the award-winning writer’s signature blend of fervour and sangfroid, the serial poems in Silvija accrue into a book-length testament to a grief both personal and human, leaving readers with the redemptive grace that comes from poetry’s ability to wrestle chaos into meaning.

Watch the Book Launch and Reading:

Listen to ‘Clasp’: An Excerpt from Silvija:

Press Coverage for Silvija:

“While the effect of Ridley’s short phrases staccato and accumulate into a complex tapestry that refuses anything straightforward, the emotional content is raw, savage and brutally stark.”
rob mclennan’s blog

“Ridley achieves a remarkable feat by revitalizing the overused and bland imagery of death.” —Jonathan Ball, Winnipeg Free Press

A ‘best of’ list of 2016 Canadian poetry books rob mclennan’s blog

My Poetic (M)Other: Amanda Earl on Sandra Ridley many gendered mothers

“Beautifully designed, Silvija is a structural whole, a beautiful web of language, doing elegy as a constrained & compelling dance of words.” —Douglas Barbour, Eclectic Ruckus

VERSeFest Spotlight: An Interview with Kitchissippi poet Sandra Ridley Kitchissippi Times

“Silvija’s recent Griffin nomination is a welcome confirmation of Ridley’s place in the first rank of Canadian poetry.”  JM Francheteau, Arc Poetry Magazine

CBC Radio One’s Interview with Griffin Prize finalist Sandra Ridley Alan Neal, All in a Day

Ottawa poet nominated for Griffin prize searching for new inspiration Andrew Duffy, Ottawa Citizen

CBC Television Interview with Sandra Ridley Host Adrian Harewood, Our Ottawa

An Interview with 2017 Griffin Poetry Prize Nominees Sandra Ridley, Jordan Abel, and Hoa Nguyen Natalie Hanna, Arc Poetry Magazine

“Sandra Ridley’s fourth collection of poetry, Silvija, adds to her already impressive body of writing. The book, which is organized into nine sections, situates Ridley as one of the preeminent Canadian poets of her generatin. Her writing is comparable to that of her Canadian foremothers: Erin Mouré and Nicole Brossard.” Robert Anderson, The Puritan

“Reading Sandra Ridley’s Silvija is to be tossed into the beautiful, impossible web of language, so unafraid of darkness, so willing to bear witness, so brave in wrestling meaning from silence. Poems of a non-linear unfolding attempt to hold love and suffering.” Mary MacDonald, Pique Magazine

“Careful islands of clear imperatives that drive the rest of the elegies toward—not resolution, but integration and transformation, and, finally, a reclamation of agency… The stunning rawness, and simultaneous devotion, of Silvija is a rare find.” Jennifer Baker, Canadian Literature

The Chat: A Griffin Poetry Prize Special With Canadian Finalist Sandra Ridley Trevor Corkum, 49th Shelf

‘You don’t have to “get” a poem’: Finalists for the Griffin Poetry Prize weigh in on their enduring form National Post

Why Griffin Poetry Prize finalist Sandra Ridley cuts up her poems: The Magic 8 Interview CBC Books

The 2017 Griffin Prize nominees on Poetry & Favourite Reads Open Book


Judges’ Citation of Silvija for the Griffin Poetry Prize:

“The poems in Sandra Ridley’s book are potent and beguiling. Words are given the space they need to root and branch. This pace of them engages with the unarticulated, the hidden, the unbearable as readers encounter five elegies that allude to and invoke trauma, shame, and a profound sense of loss. Given the themes at work in this collection, silence is an essential part of the reading. Ridley conducts and curates that space as liminal. Here’s where we understand the scope of the work and concede to bearing witness. Here’s where we understand that we will be haunted. And from that silence, the words that emerge have been given the time they need to properly cure and to season in the poem’s atmosphere. They reach, as words do, singular and fluent. Ridley’s language is persuasive and ripe. ‘[N]arrow your eyes to the now,’ the poem requests. Here is ‘a shame unleashed by plain talk’. Beneath these elegies, there is a current, a reprise praising the healer. This current is another root system, an ongoing poem, essential to the collection.” Griffin Poetry Prize

Multiple-award-winning poet, instructor, and editor Sandra Ridley is the author of three books of poetry: Fallout (winner of a 2010 Saskatchewan Book Award and the Alfred G. Bailey Prize); Post-Apothecary (finalist for the ReLit and Archibald Lampman Awards); and The Counting House (published by BookThug in 2013; finalist for the Archibald Lampman Award and chosen as one of the top five poetry books of 2013 in Quill & Quire’s Readers’ Poll). In 2015, Ridley was a finalist for the KM Hunter Artist Award for Literature. She lives in Ottawa.

Additional information

Dimensions 7 × 7 in