subUrban Legends

By Joan Crate

April 2009
5.5 x 8.5 paper 84pp
CDN $16.95 | US $16.95

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Winner of the 2010 Kroetsch Poetry Book of the Year
Finalist for the 2010 Stephan G Stephansson Award for Poetry
Finalist for the 2010 CAA Poetry Award

Celebrated poet Joan Crate’s fourth book weaves a sequence of poetic revisions and reveries, cleverly colliding suburban routine with subconscious fantasy. The specter of Snow White haunts the corridors of this collection, first as a retro-, then as a made-over fairy-tale reflection of the lives of contemporary women. The poems in subUrban Legends examine family relationships and gender roles with acerbic humour, frank sensuality, wistfulness, and, finally, acceptance, offering a mid-life view of childhood influences and expectations that is both stirring and wise. In Crate’s characteristically intelligent verse, these legends consider what lies beyond youth and the trite promise of “happily ever after,” taking readers to a land of complexity and nuance from which few cultural officiados report.



“Joan Crate is the poet of our suburban dreams and our suburban nightmares. She turns daily experience into the stuff of shocking fairy tales and renewed legends. Line by eloquent line, her poems give voice to our stifling silences. ”
— Robert Kroetsch


“Joan Crate tells stories as fluidly as she fiddles with individual words, always blending strong emotions with ingenious, often playful technique. Crate’s wit flavours the sad truth in her poems…a poet with both guts and restraint.”
Quill and Quire