Mobile by Tanis MacDonald

Mobile by Tanis MacDonald

Longlisted for the 2020 Toronto Book Awards


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Publication Date: September 12, 2019
120 pages
7.75 x 5.25 inches
ISBN 9781771665308

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Mobile is an uncivil feminist reboot of Dennis Lee’s Civil Elegies and Other Poems; an urban lament about female citizenship and settler culpability; an homage to working and walking women in a love/hate relationship with Toronto, its rivers and creeks, its sidewalks and parks, its history, misogyny and violence. How do we, in Lee’s words, see the “lives we had not lived” that “invisibly stain” the city? What are the sexual politics of occupying space in a city, in a workspace, in history? How can we name our vulnerabilities and our disasters and still find strength?

Written in a slippery mix of lyric and experimental styles, Mobile is MacDonald’s grouchiest book yet.

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Praise for Mobile:

“These poems performatively perturb our complacencies: toward city, land, plant, women, and men. With her sybil voice full of sass but never lacking civility, MacDonald forages the city for women’s lives and names, knocking not on heaven’s door but on the tombs where our world is heading. Confronting barriers of attitude and structure that women face daily, full of sounds and verve, Mobile is a deft counterpoint to Dennis Lee’s long-ago Civil Elegies. Pick up this Mobile, readers; it’s ringing and it’s no robocall!” —Erín Moure

“With delightfully subversive wordplay and intertextual sleight of hand, Tanis MacDonald wanders the text of the modern city, exploring its civil energies with intelligence, incision, compassion, music, ferocity and wit. A Sibyl’s elegies for the civil legacies of the past, these feisty poems interrogate the mansplaining streets, finding the always-there voices and experiences of women in its architecture and shadows, curbs and enthusiasms, structures and strictures, its texts and traditions, violence and vibrance, twists and détournes. Go with MacDonald as she guides you through the streets of Mobile. It’s a tour de force.” —Gary Barwin

Press Coverage:

Most Anticipated: 2019 Fall Poetry Preview 49th Shelf

Four Paths: An Interview with Tanis MacDonald Concrete and River

Cascading Questions: Tanis MacDonald on Ascension and Decline in Mobile Concrete and River

Walk on Over: 8 Books about Walking and Place 49th Shelf

Poets in Profile: Tanis MacDonald Talks Key Narratives, Taking Your Time, and the Importance of Community Open Book

In Conversation with Tanis MacDonald Ariel Gordon, Winnipeg Free Press

Poetry collection by Laurier professor longlisted for Toronto Book Awards WLU University News

“In Mobile, Tanis MacDonald calls out the nature of patriarchy as it has embedded itself in how women are prevented from being open and free enough to speak their minds. Through her work, she also highlights the places in our society where the supposedly simple act of being mobile—of just being able to walk without fear of being hurt or killed, for goodness sake—is a threat to women’s agency to simply be fully present in the world.” Kim Fahner, periodicities

Tanis MacDonald is the author of several books of poetry and essays, including Out of Line: Daring to Be an Artist Outside the Big City. She is the co-editor of GUSH: Menstrual Manifestos for Our Times (2018) and the editor of Speaking of Power: The Poetry of Di Brandt (2006). Her book, The Daughter’s Way, was a finalist for the Gabrielle Roy Prize in Canadian Literary Criticism. She is the winner of the Bliss Carman Prize (2003) and the Mayor’s Poetry City Prize for Waterloo (2012). She has taught at the Sage Hill Writing Experience, and in 2017 won the Robert Kroetsch Teaching Award from the Canadian Creative Writers and Writing Programs. Originally from Winnipeg, she teaches Canadian Literature and Creative Writing at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario.

Additional information

Dimensions 7.75 × 5.25 in