Staff Picks: Chantelle Rideout

Staff Picks: Chantelle Rideout

The Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association presents staff picks! This week we will be featuring a different staff pick each day. Here's what we're reading and our favourite books in the Time to #ReadAtlantic Collection.

Last but not least finishing off our staff picks series we have our Manager of Programming and Member Services for the Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association, Chantelle Rideout. Chantelle is the author of the poetry chapbook Sotto Voce (Frog Hollow Press) and editor of Frog Hollow’s The City Series: Number 5 – Halifax. These days she finds herself writing more funding applications than poems, but the reading-while-walking she describes below is still a regular occurrence.

Chantelle's Pick: Oderin

“If you could listen to my mother / she’d tell you of her life, / especially the bad bits” (p. 47)

"I picked up Oderin by Agnes Walsh while shopping the always-stellar poetry section at Bookmark in Halifax. I read it on the bus ride home, read it while walking the rest of the way home (apologies to the drivers who beeped), read it again at home. Then I mailed it across the Atlantic to a good friend I knew would get lost in it the same way.

There are 35 poems in Oderin about (and dedicated to) Agnes Walsh’s mother, whose spirited voice and difficult memories are woven together with language that is lyrical and direct. Although I initially read it straight through as I fell into her story, it’s also a book of poems to return to, one at a time. I’m guilty of often starting with the ending when I read poems, and the way this book considers endings is one of the things that has stayed with me. There is of course the powerfully written unhappy ending each poem is leading up to, but there are also poems about how we write endings, about when a childhood ends, about endings we long for and endings that come too soon. It’s a book of broken pieces beautifully and thoughtfully put together."

A new collection by Newfoundland poet Agnes Walsh, her first since the release of Going Around With Bachelors (2007). Born and brought up in Placentia, Newfoundland, Walsh studied folklore in Georgia (USA), before returning home and taking to writing works founded in her love of her ancestral place. Oderin is an homage to Walsh's mother, who signed her letters, Love from your loving mother--Mother.

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