Calliope

poetry by Shirley Camia

Synopsis

Calliope illustrates the rich emotional complexity found in instances – the choice moments of life from bliss to darkness, that convey the eccentricities, vulnerabilities and strengths of human existence.

Excerpt

Taking Notice
the footsteps of the neighbours upstairs
heavy tired pregnant
a day's worth of work
measured in thuds 
the laminate
scratched
as the cat tears past 
babble from a one-year old
she drums on the kitchen table
rat-a-tap-tap the chorus goes
before she drops her spoon
and cries
September Serenade
a pot of tea
and chinatown tarts 
comfort 
on a night
brimming with
thoughts 
blanketed
by silence
"It is the type of work we should demand of all our artists: honest and intelligent, and at all times beautiful. Shirley Camia is an exciting new talent."
– Joe Cummings

About the Author

Shirley Camia is a broadcaster and journalist, born in Winnipeg to first-generation Filipino immigrants.

She has traveled throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, sleeping alongside the rice fields of rural Japan and falling in love with Canada's far north.

Her debut collection, Calliope, illustrates the rich emotional complexity found in instances – the choice moments of life from bliss to darkness, that convey the eccentricities, vulnerabilities and strengths of human existence.

She lives in Toronto with her partner, her two dogs and her fish.

Praise

"This graceful collection takes the reader through a wonderfully vivid series of thoughts and moments that linger with a welcomed ease while at the same time revealing the often cold sobriety of raw human experience.

It is the type of work we should demand of all our artists: honest and intelligent, and at all times beautiful.

Shirley Camia is an exciting new talent."

– Joe Cummings,
Canadian poet and broadcaster

"Shirley Camia's first collection of poems is not to be missed.

Bringing together the sinuous lines of Kay Ryan with the cool, uncluttered vision of a Haiku master, she invites us into a world at once resolutely unsentimental and intensely personal: as she writes:

let us / on this day / be friends"

– Ted Goossen,
literary critic and translator of Japanese literature