Wrap in a Big White Towel

by Callista Markotich

Callista Markotich’s powerful first collection is an imperative: Wrap in a Big White Towel. When the spirit trembles, when imagination shrinks from a torched world, when empathy drowns you, protect yourself, seek solace. Then emerge with ruthless honesty and clarity into the cathartic space you’ve made, speaking the names of the dead. “Unmoored, I swing / into a long black chute, a tunnel rush in / starless night, a schuss, deep, deep, // and something cool upon my lips.” Markotich’s debut is full of restless experimentation and harmony. Her inimitable poetic voice is saturated with kindness and brilliance, sizzle and pop.

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SKU: 9781989466735 Categories: ,

$19.95 CAD

Additional information

Weight .192 kg
Dimensions 9 × 6 × 0.25 in
Page Count



Soft Cover with flaps

Year Published


Callista Markotich

Callista Markotich was a finalist for the 2023 Gwendolyn MacEwen Poetry Prize, and has been nominated for Pushcart and National Magazine Awards. She is a contributing editor for Arc Poetry Magazine. She lives in Kingston, Ontario.

Callista’s poetry spans everything from the domestic to the feral, from fairy tales to history. Her poems are woven together with a fullness of language that is astonishing in its depth and beauty.
~ Sarah Tsaing, author of Grappling Hook

Callista Markotich’s poetry is the work of an enchantress. She’s an arrow flying around the target of our hearts, a fistful of fireflies above a forest floor. Whatever the magic at the core of Wrap in a Big White Towel, she approaches language for all the hyperbole it provides, and adds formalities: a fugue, a glosa. Much of what she delves into has been steeped in grief, but the life she’s lived makes these poems incandescent, suffused with freshness. That leads her to the line: “These are things I’d tell if I were telling.” Words gust across our grief-loosed memories. Still, she continues: “I’d like to build a little monument for you / a piano, its walnut case no bigger / than a beetle’s carapace.”

Who else takes such risks; expecting us to follow wherever she goes? Our names echo inside this book.
~ Barry Dempster, author of Being Here: the Chemistry of Startle

This collection glows with a warm intelligence, the kind that can be found only in poetry. The sure and elegant writing transports the reader to a place of blood-and-bone knowing where memory and grief and gratitude for past and future blessings reside. I love these poems—their impeccable but easy-going formality, their range, their perfectly played music meant not only for the ear but also for the heart.
~ Lorna Crozier, Governor-General Award Winner, author of After That, poems about grief