White Shirt

by Laurie MacFayden

Laurie MacFayden navigates love, longing, lust and loss with deft wordplay and disarming wit, plumbing our most intimate relationships – those entwining family, friends, lovers and exlovers. Her rich imagery, combined with an ability to locate the extraordinary in the everyday, results in poems that range from playful to poignant as she celebrates the complexities of the human heart. In this debut collection, best friends scream downhill on their ten-speed bikes; a tree planter spells out her lover’s name in seedlings; and a mysterious entity steps out of the mist in Stanley Park. The author contemplates how best to seduce Joan of Arc and goes on an abstract-expressionist date with Jackson Pollock. Like the white shirt in the title, these poems are crisp, seductive and a little bit sweaty.

  • Winner: 2011 Golden Crown Literary Award for Poetry
  • Shortlisted -  Annual Lambda Literary Awards
SKU: 9781897181409 Categories: ,

$15.95 CAD

Additional information

Weight .158 kg
Dimensions 9 × 6 × .25 in
Page Count



Soft Cover

Year Published


Laurie MacFayden

Laurie MacFayden is an award-winning poet, visual artist and journalist who has lived in Edmonton since 1984. In addition to three books of poetry, Walking Through Turquoise, Kissing Keeps Us Afloat (2014) and White Shirt (2010), all published with Frontenac House, her writing has appeared in The New Quarterly, FreeFall, Queering the Wayand online at canadianpoetries.com. White Shirt won a Golden Crown Literary Society award and was shortlisted for the Lambda Literary awards. A painter, poet, photographer and avid traveler, she spent more than 30 years as a sports journalist. Her work has been performed in Edmonton’s Loud & Queer Cabaret, Skirts Afire HerArts Festival, and Q the Arts: Calgary’s Queer Arts & Culture Festival. When not wordsmithing or playing with light, she enjoys drinking strong coffee in faraway places. She blogs at spatherdab.com and her art lives at www.lauriemacfayden.com

“Laurie MacFayden’s White Shirt is the sort of garment that appeals and reveals far more than it conceals. Love, longing, loss and desire drip and swirl like the poet’s own Pollock-inspired cover art. Simple strategies work well here: the Tower-of-Babel adjectival pileup that describes one babelicious mouth in ‘dear life’ leads into other catalogues and accumulations throughout the book. Once in a while, as in ‘the knowing,’ the lusty shout turns reflective and insightful.”
~Alberta Views

“at home in the canon of Canadian lyricism.”
~Globe and Mail

?Her work is ejaculations, vivid, colourful, clashing, all indelibly marking the white page.…There’s mucho — even macho — passion here. …White Shirt is a fine collection — especially recommended for readers who usually ignore poetry.”
~Chronicle Herald

“This is the “classic” hard-drinking, hard-living, gravelly poet’s voice – only it comes from a woman. It’s a bust-out-of-the-closet voice where occasional touchstone rhymes and furious lists score the page. The poems are stripped down, poignant, exact, and as heartily playful as any serious blues. Here is Sappho crossed with the Supremes.”
~Jury, Dektet 2010

“when i first heard laurie macfayden read in edmonton, it was obvious she was a cut above the pack of poets waiting for their turn to be heard. she’s a drag queen in a pink limousine, journalist of whyte ave & the two-lane world, an important lady in an important time.”
~c.r. avery

“Laurie MacFayden is one of my favourite poets. Her poems vibrate with a sensorial precision that never fails to capture. From a wild date with Jackson Pollock, to poems of longing and desire, to clear-eyed rants on sexuality, she does what all great writers do – that is, she shines her incredible, unique light on what it is to be human. MacFayden pushes at the darkness with her poetry – she titillates, teases, intrigues and entertains – and I hope she keeps doing it for a very, very long time.”
~Thomas Trofimuk