Our Bodies’ Unanswered Questions (Downloadable PDF)
by Wendy Donawa
Peopled with casualties of colonizing desires, Our Bodies’ Unanswered Questions revises mythical, historical and personal narratives. Penelope regrets her career choice; a Syrian child washes ashore; the greeting card industry peddles innocence.
Personal poems scrutinize time’s implacable flow, chart the body in time, its mortality, its capricious heart. The struggle to find grace-notes of love and beauty in our present historical moment animates these poems: tough and lyrical, they resonate with authentic feeling, cultural urgency, and a quirky sense of humour.
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Raised on Vancouver Island, Wendy Donawa then lived for three decades in Barbados, where she raised her family, studied at the University of the West Indies, and found vocation as a college instructor and museum curator.
Now returned to her birthplace, her heart and mind attend to poetry. The BC coast’s salty air and the Caribbean’s easterly trade winds make equal claim on her spirit.
Her poems have appeared widely in Canadian journals, anthologies, and three chapbooks. Her first collection, Thin Air of the Knowable, (Brick Books, 2017), was longlisted for the Raymond Souster Award and a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Award. Our Bodies’ Unanswered Questions is her second book.
She gratefully acknowledges that her Victoria home, in sight of the Sooke Hills and the Salish Sea, is on the traditional unceded lands of the Songhees and Esquimalt Peoples.
Visit her at wendydonawa.com
The poems in Our Bodies’ Unanswered Questions glisten like stars above a Dark Sky Preserve. Each burns an afterimage into the mind’s eye. With radiant grace, Donawa gives us fiery calls to action, affirming revelations, and heart-rending susurrations. In a world rife with inequity and injustice, this exquisite collection is the kind of beacon we need: unwavering, uncompromising, and fiercely wise.
~ Sandra Ridley, author of Silvija
These poems are a call to empathy, a call to wonder. Written in the voice of someone who has thought and thought again about the past, they become part of a reader’s own search for meaning and consolation. With the sure notes of a master poet, they sing their way into your heart.
~ Lorna Crozier, author of Through the Garden: A Love Story (with Cats)