Skip to content Skip to navigation

Stop! Look! Listen! Blair Trewartha's Reading Recommendation

With the abundance of high caliber poetry books published each year in Canada, it’s extremely difficult to narrow down which specific poetry collections to recommend. The only criteria I can think of on which to base that recommendation is that feeling you get when you finish reading it. More than appreciation or admiration, it’s a deep sense of relief that you get and a genuine thankfulness that this book exists, and you were lucky enough to find it.  

Triny Finlay’s Myself a Paperclip is one of those books. In this collection, Finlay writes vividly about her experiences with debilitating mental illnesses and various treatment methods, including the daily reality of life in a psychiatric ward. It’s one of those rare books that finds the perfect balance between raw, vulnerable personal experience and poetic aesthetic, creating both deeply impactful poems but also lines and images that are stuck in your head long after you’ve finished reading them.  

Similarly, Spenser Smith’s A Brief Relief from Hunger also captures the deeply personal lived experiences of the poet through incredibly beautiful poems. Smith portrays personal stories of living with opioid addiction, explores the concept of masculinity, and interrogates societal attitudes toward the opioid crisis and those living with addiction. 

— Blair Trewartha’s first collection of poetry, Easy Fix (Palimpsest, 2014) was shortlisted for the Relit Award. He is the author of three chapbooks: Break In (Cactus Press, 2010), Porcupine Burning (Baseline Press, 2012), and human energy (Anstruther Press, 2022). His poetry has appeared in several journals.


You can find Blair Trewartha’s poetry in Issue 298 Winter 2024. Order the issue now:

Order Issue 298 - Winter 2024 (Canadian Addresses)

Order Issue 298 - Winter 2024 (International Addresses)