Emptying the Ocean (Downloadable PDF)
by Kim Fahner
Emptying the Ocean is a poetic journey based on the ancient Irish immram tales—the soul voyages taken by a woman who moves mystically through the four elements and the spirited Otherworld. Water, earth, air, and fire are woven through with imagination, inspiration, and spirit. The voice of the selkie bookends the collection, and the character of the sailor finds himself caught up in her wake. Rooted firmly in Irish myth and lore, with references to strong female figures who shapeshift and move between dimensions, there are Atlantic echoes of both Ireland and Newfoundland at work in these poems.
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Kim Fahner lives and writes in Sudbury, Ontario. She was the poet laureate for the City of Greater Sudbury (2016-18). Emptying the Ocean is her fifth book of poetry. Visit her website at kimfahner.com
Kim Fahner’s contemporary immram takes the Celtic journey to the Otherworld and spins it into a book in which powerful female spirits of transformation trade strategies to keep their heads above water, or dive deep into mysterious depths and come back changed. This is the season of Fahner’s swamp witch, whose advice to “Tread water. Kick hard” will leave
you breathing with every inch of your lungs.
~ Tanis MacDonald, author of Straggle:
Adventures in Walking While Female
These poems—“so pine & blood scented”—are rooted in the body and the land. Shuttling from Northern Ontario to Newfoundland to Ireland, from scarcity to excess, Emptying the Ocean steeps readers in Kim Fahner’s poetic sensibility. Working with Celtic lore, with women’s art, Fahner asks: how do you live as though everything matters? How do you inhabit a world smelling “of love and loss all at once”?
~ Ariel Gordon, author of TreeTalk
In Kim Fahner’s striking new collection, each poem wails, a body floundering in its own wet galaxy. Words are new lovers, capturing us in a carnal trance, and we are waterlogged with longing. How can we even begin to recover? Lured in by the siren song of Fahner’s deft poetic hand, Emptying the Ocean is mythological umami – opulence, splendour, and magic on the tongue.
~ Adrienne Gruber, author of Q & A