Poems New and Selected
After reading this collection, you will never look at mothers - at the playground, at the elementary school, or across the kitchen table - in quite the same way again. Beginning with a poem of pregnancy, written by her twenty-five year old self, Joanne Arnott leads us through a span of twenty years of inward- and outward-facing struggles, centred firmly in the ongoing work of becoming a mother.
Living on the thresholds between races - the poet is a prairie-born Métis - and between the generations, Arnott articulates the challenges of mothering in heart, body, and mind. Her work involves sometimes abstract, sometimes visceral long and short poems, song and chant. Through visiting and revisiting pregnancy, childbirth, lullabies, and multi-generational rage, the poetry moves from the desperation of survival through to a tender place of clarity. The sexual, the spiritual, and the sociological weave together here to shock, cajole, and ultimately to transform our picture of the inner life of the mother.