CASSY WELBURN’S collection of poetry, Changelings, is a look at the small but powerful acts of our lives that have the power to transform us and the magic of story to illuminate them. The voice of the wyrd speaks through the natural world at moments of crisis in these scenes from the lives of children, men and women on the verge of becoming something else.
“Cassy Welburn writes with insight and revelation, as she examines the nuances of the personal story, transformation and healing. Her poetic narratives integrate strong images with lamenting vignettes. Welburn presents her reader with rich portraits of people and landscape, through a tight lens and then again through the optic of a hermetic breath.” – Sheri-D Wilson
About the Author
CASSY WELBURN is a poet and storyteller whose work has appeared in literary journals, anthologies and on CBC radio. She has travelled across Canada sharing her work at festivals, and for audiences of all ages. She works part time as a teacher to new Canadians and as Artist in Residence at many schools. She lives in Calgary, Alberta.
In Changelings, Casey Welburn presents poems of everyday transformation, rooted in fairy tales, myths, rituals, and ceremonies and shot through with the banal and unremarkable. Boundaries are consistently blurred – dreaming and waking, the natural and the supernatural – rendering images mutable, elusive. Some of the titles appear familiar (e.g., The Tell-Tale Heart, The Thousand Nights and One Night), but the poems represent or embellish what we think we know about these texts, creating palimpsests of stories and retellings that are deeply personal and specific. The poems’ many grotesque images are counterpoised against natural and beguiling settings, and produce an eerie atmosphere of creatures on the verge of change.
Changelings is a powerful collection for readers 14 and up. With this age group, the book is likely best used as an independent reading assignment or as individual poems.
This volume should also provide an emotionally moving text for teachers and librarians, for whom some of the poems may prove acutely identifiable.
Reading it, I was spellbound.
Thematic Links: Poetry; Family; Fairy Tales; Myth
— Leslie Vermeer for Resource Links.
For the Teacher’s Guide, click here