Dirt of Ages


Dirt of Ages

By Gillian Wigmore

Nightwood Editions
5.5 x 8 - 80 pages
Paperback - $18.95
April 2012

“Gillian Wigmore’s poems are place-literate, fully flexed, often
suspenseful. When she writes of the life and death of northern
people and northern rivers, you love and grieve.”

—Fred Stenson

Dirt of Ages is the highly anticipated second book of poetry by Gillian Wigmore, whose debut collection soft geography (2007) captured the ReLit Prize for Poetry and was shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay BC Book Prize.

In Dirt of Ages, everything meets in “the perfect v” of the valley: where rivers meet in an “exchange between sky and water,” where rural runs into urban,“where art and work meet,”“the rush and rattle,” where fog and smog converge as “foetid fall inversions,” and where “two chafe so close together.”

Wigmore expands both her curiosity and command as a poet from personal observations and relationships with wilderness to a universal, societal energy that flows through time, place and every one of us.“Notions of deeper rivers” do not reveal a romanticized “true north” but rather a meth dealer accidentally entreating a mother with child on the streets of a pulp-mill town, and “burnedout buildings that are a calling card of the heart’s.”

Among so many other interstices, human interaction with our natural environment is expressed as “rotten lumber stacked and waiting in the woodlot floodplain” and “our wallets open, hoping wealth / will rain down after winter,” while the “the earthen hum of bugs at work” goes on: the dirt of ages.