In Duct-Taped Roses, Billeh Nickerson shares heartbreaks and offers odes and elegies in reflections on family, community, life, and loss.
As a bush pilot, Nickerson’s father would duct-tape his planes to keep them flying. The poignancy of his relationship with his father is celebrated here in the long poem “Skies.” Other poems reminisce about love and the complex resiliency of gay men.
Through his signature irreverence, honesty and wit, Nickerson explores what can be repaired, what must be celebrated, and what—inevitably—is lost to time.
Praise for Billeh Nickerson:
“Nickerson looks up at his community from the gutter, not down from the condo loft–and therefore, as Wilde taught us, he can also see the stars.” —R.M. Vaughan
Most Anticipated: Our 2021 Spring Poetry Preview —49th Shelf
55 Canadian Poetry Collections to Check Out in Spring 2021 —CBC Books
“[Nickerson’s] mind is a wonder, and lucky for us, he’s put so many wonderful thoughts from it onto these pages. These poems radiate tenderness, and I, in turn, can only feel a similar tenderness for the man who wrote them – a man who writes not only for ‘…boys who grew up misunderstood / for being as much sugar and spice/ as snakes and snails and puppy dog tails,’ but who writes for all of us, “stuck here on the ground” ensnared in the human condition.” —Heidi Greco, The Miramichi Reader
“Otherness, Humour, Taboo, and the Surreal” Poet Billeh Nickerson on Unexpected Influences, His 20-Year Poem, and More —Open Book
This is a solid collection by a writer in mid-career stride: it’s got some poems that have appeared elsewhere, some new ones, a nice homage to his queer lineage, the personal nods we’ve come to expect with the unflinching honesty (even crassness) that makes Billeh Billeh.” —Kegan McFadden, Plenitude
Poetry & motion: Writing alumni Billeh Nickerson —University of Victoria Fine Arts
“Nickerson’s poems are understated and accomplished, shifting between modes of elegy and humorous punchlines with a voice that is distinct and intimate, recalling the playful, confessional poetry of Dorothea Lasky and the candour of Wayne Koestenbaum. Duct-Taped Roses is Nickerson’s best yet.” —Shazia Hafiz Ramji, Hamilton Review of Books
How a classic 1970s pop ballad by the Bee Gees inspired Billeh Nickerson’s latest poetry collection —CBC Radio The Next Chapter with Shelagh Rogers
“Yes, Duct-taped Roses takes you through some of life’s best highs and also its most terrible lows, but it’s the full spectrum of the human experience — and worth a ride-along.” —Grace Lau, The British Columbia Review