Melanie Siebert's stunning debut collection travels remote northern rivers, as well as two of Canada's most threatened rivers, the Athabasca and the North Saskatchewan. These rivers push the poems into a contemplation of loss and into the terrain of Alexander Mackenzie's dreams, a busker's broken-down street riffs, and the borderland wanderings of a grandmother whose absence is felt as a presence. The poems' currents are turbulent, braided, submerged. Narrative streams appear like tributaries glimpsed through brush, and then veer into unexpected territories, where boundaries blur - between the self and the other, between the living and the dead, between the human and the wild - and loss carries with it both music and silence. In this virtuoso collection, Melanie Siebert has transformed language into that rarest thing, a singular poetic vision.
Melanie Siebert recently completed an MFA at the University of Victoria with a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Fellowship. Her poetry has been broadcast on CBC Radio and published in The Walrus, The Malahat Review, Event, and Prairie Fire. For more than ten years, she has worked as a guide on wilderness rivers across the north from Alaska to Baffin Island.