Pub date: May 21, 2013
Winner, 2015 E.J. Pratt Poetry Award
Shortlist finalist, 2013 BMO Winterset Award
Carmelita McGrath’s Escape Velocity — the long awaited follow-up to her Atlantic Poetry Prize-winning collection To the New World — culls overlooked fragments from our domestic lives and ferries them on unpredictable journeys. A conversation with a telemarketer becomes a monologue on overcoming loss, stray animals provoke cautionary tales shared between generations of women, and junk mail fosters a meditation on necessity, debt, and the inevitability of one’s passing. From the elegiac, to the playful, to the meditative, McGrath effortlessly shifts from a natural refinement to a near breathless elegance. Well worth the wait, Escape Velocity marks the return of McGrath’s receptive intelligence, gathering strength and taking flight.
“That McGrath is as comfortable and skilled at the high-artifice of lyric poesy as she is at accurately rendering the idioms and cultural sensibilities of native Newfoundlanders really separates her as a pioneering Canadian talent in this respect.” – The Fiddlehead
“From the elegiac, to the playful, to the meditative, McGrath effortlessly shifts from a natural refinement to a near breathless elegance. Escape Velocity marks the return of McGrath's receptive intelligence, gathering strength and taking flight.” – 49th Shelf
All week the pallbearer’s gloves were in the car
with a rose that rasped
a trail across the dash on sharp turns
making the sound things make when they fade
until it fell to the floor at my feet.
I sometimes feel helpless in the passenger seat.
And last night the pallbearer’s caress
broke through our separateness.