Duct-Taped Roses by Billeh Nickerson


Duct-Taped Roses by Billeh Nickerson



April 15, 2021
8.75 x 5.75 inches | 96 pages
Trade Paper 9781771666909


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As a pilot, Billeh Nickerson’s father would duct-tape his bush planes to keep them flying. In this gentle, warm meditation, the award-winning poet questions what can be repaired, and what—inevitably—is lost to time.

From the bush pilot duct-taping parts to keep his plane aloft to the pizza delivery driver who runs over his pizzas to the never-ending raffle at a leather bar, Nickerson uses his signature irreverence, honesty and wit to question what can be repaired, and what—inevitably—is lost to time.

Such humour contrasts the poignancy of Nickerson’s relationship with his father, celebrated in the long poem “Skies”, and his exploration of the continued scourge of death for queer men—first AIDS and now addiction, mental illness and fentanyl overdoses.

These poems reminisce about young love while exploring the complex, deep and often rending relationships between gay men, especially as they age. Nickerson shares heartbreaks (“You’ve covered me with tattoos / I can only see with my eyes closed, can only feel when I imagine your fingers”) and offers odes and elegies to past loves.

Duct-Taped Roses is Frank O’Hara meets Lorna Crozier; David Sedaris meets Eileen Myles. Elegiac yet sober, Nickerson’s work offers deep reflection on the poet’s community and life.

Billeh Nickerson is the author of six previous books, including Artificial Cherry, which was nominated for the City of Vancouver Book Award. He a past editor of both Event and Prism International, and co-editor of the groundbreaking anthology Seminal: The Anthology of Canada’s Gay Male Poets. He lives and works in Vancouver where he is the co-chair of the Creative Writing Department at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.


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