This Hot Place
Saskatchewan writer Bernadette Wagner’s first book is examination (and cross-examination) of place, heart, politics, the socio-placement of women in the land and their quest for spiritual grace and worth. The poems tell of personal encounters with death, sexual assault, children, family, hard work, and a woman’s transformation from a bad-luck existence into a meaningful new life. The book’s trajectory is from young girl to wise crone and the poems are divided into these sections accordingly — Maiden, Mother, Crone. Detailed images of mundane family homes, farms, and yards act as backdrop to the human discourse and at times counterpoint the emotional politics and heaviness of a life weighed down with routine and questionable value. The insightful and powerful forces turned loose by the narrator stir all the emotional cul de sacs she experiences.
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