The next instalment of our Spring 2022 Preview series features Shannon Webb-Campbell’s Lunar Tides, an expansive and enveloping poetry collection which explores the primordial relationships between love, grief, and water, structured within the lunar calendar.
The poetics follow rhythms of the body, the tides, the moon, and long, deep familial relationships that are both personal and ancestral. Originating from Webb-Campbell’s deep grief of losing her mother, Lunar Tides charts the arc to finding her again in the waves. Written from a mixed Mi’kmaq/settler perspective, this work also explores the legacies of colonialism, kinship and Indigenous resurgence.
“In Lunar Tides, Shannon Webb-Campbell exposes a heart that’s broken but also carried across the gulf between the moon and the sea, a heart that knows how ‘grief takes up with the body,'” writes Douglas Walbourne-Gough, author of Crow Gulch. “She shows us that grief is tidal, its ebb and flow pulsing like the moon and dog-earring our memories. This book reminds us that, grieving or not, we ‘need to be held by something other than a theory.'”
We are delighted to share this video introduction and reading from the author herself!
And, for an extra sneak peek into Webb-Campbell’s richly lyrical verse, we’ve selected two poems from the book which you can read below. Lunar Tides will be released on April 5, 2022, and is available now for pre-order, either from our online shop or from your local independent bookstore.
Returning Closer to Earth Time
on a canoe trip between Azure
and Dividing Lakes, only the waters know
I fear cancer, ask should I go?
it takes time to shed ourselves
remove another layer of decay
paddle in further, wave to wave
will I see what I’m being shown?
can I hear? will I even listen?
how do I hold an offering?
ego wants to play its own drama:
if I make her scared enough
she won’t go
Poem For Frida Kahlo As Mother
packing dollar store plastic flowers
to tie my hair in pink and yellow
marigolds to mirror your signature style
I call on you, call you Mother—
because I can’t phone my own, she died.
you’re dead, too, but your work sustains Mother Mexico
your monkeyed self-portraits offer multiple selves:
one subject—a fixed gaze, a steel brow
another self—orangey florals piled high
selves becoming morning glory,
Mexican chocolate, sunflower cosmos
almost good enough to eat.
Shannon Webb-Campbell is a mixed Indigenous (Mi’kmaq) settler poet, writer, and critic. She is the author of Still No Word (2015), recipient of Eagle Canada’s Out in Print Award, and I Am A Body of Land (2019; finalist for the A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry). Shannon holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, and a MA in English Literature at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador, and is pursuing her Ph.D. at the University of New Brunswick in the Department of English. She is the editor of Visual Arts News Magazine. Shannon is a member of Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation and lives in Kijpuktuk/Halifax in Mi’kma’ki.