Kate Cayley's Reading Recommendation:
The Outer Wards by Sadiqa de Meijer
I’ve been thinking a lot about domestic life, meaning the things that remain private, invisible, and stubbornly outside of the context of institutions. The things that happen in the cracks and in “spare” moments, the time spent with young children, how to understand motherhood without the sentimental trappings often given to it, what is worthwhile time. The Outer Wards is a collection of poetry that looks at place, language, motherhood, and illness. It is, I think, the best collection I’ve ever read about domestic life and domestic labour related to child-raising, to being with children, to being in and deeply observing a neighbourhood, and, extrapolating from that, being in a body, a city, a country, multiple countries, multiple histories, multiple languages, and, looping back, being in your body, which grows ill, is fragile, will someday die. De Meijer is a poet who manages to balance something recognizable to anyone who’s ever spent time caring for a young child with an absolutely granular specificity. You see and smell and feel as she does, in a way that both lodges in your own life and is particular to hers.
To learn more about Kate's work visit https://www.katecayley.ca/
Kate Cayley is a fiction writer, playwright, and poet who's work has been featured in many issues of The Fiddlehead. She has written a short story collection, How You Were Born, two collections of poetry, When This World Comes to an End and Other Houses, a young adult novel, The Hangman in the Mirror, and a number of plays. She has won the Trillium Book Award, the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction, an O. Henry Short Story Prize, and a Chalmers Fellowship, and been a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction, the K. M. Hunter Award, and the Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Artist Award, and long-listed for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Prize and the CBC Prize in both poetry and fiction.