Diagnosing Minor Illness in Children

by Kerry Ryan

Diagnosing Minor Illness in Children is a striking third collection by one of Canada’s most essential poets. Kerry Ryan stares without flinching at everything in her path: family, grief, dog obituaries, fine-toothed lice combs, quotidian gore, a water slide that is “not a slide, it’s a throat closing in,” and herself as mother. The collection is replete with self-doubt and thorny humour, as when the speaker struggles to suckle a wolf pup while admiring the softness of her daughter’s cheek. The poet, while staying close to home, sees herself (and us) in birds blown thousands of kilometres off course, and in reindeer defending their young. Ryan’s vision of motherhood and midlife is fierce, edgy, and tender.

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SKU: 9781989466483 Categories: , , ,

$19.95 CAD

Additional information

Weight .19 kg
Dimensions 9 × 6 × 0.24 in
Page Count



Soft Cover with flaps

Year Published


Kerry Ryan

Kerry Ryan has previously published two books of poetry, The Sleeping Life (The Muses’ Company) and Vs. (Anvil), which was a finalist for the Acorn-Plantos Award for People’s Poetry. Her poems and essays have appeared in journals and anthologies across Canada. In 2022, she was shortlisted for the CBC poetry prize. She lives and writes in Winnipeg.

Reindeer Cyclone

Drone video: hypnotic
mandala of antler, fur,
clockwise swirl

on my computer screen.
Fawns insulated at the hub
from wolves sniffing off camera.

Lulled by precision of herd
instinct, we ascribe strength,
dogged defence to concentric

circles. But on the ground,
we’d recognize guttural
sobs, whites of rolling eyes:

choreographed panic.
A mind’s worry circuit
carved by hooves.