Longlisted for 2012 ReLit Award
Governor General’s Award finalist Ruth Pierson’s third collection of poetry articulates the oppositional emotions that develop with the loss of a loved one. While humour, fond remembrance, and wry awareness break through, contrariness tinges many of the poems in this collection, a contrariness rooted in rueful self-examination, in feelings of living at cross purposes with the expected and the polite, of seeing the world aslant. At the heart of Contrary is an unflinching portrayal of the emotional maelstrom that overtook the poet as she faced the dying and death of her only brother. These are poems that mount an opposition, poems that contradict and argue, sometimes in jest, sometimes in deadly seriousness, poems that read unexpected messages into paintings and photographs, poems that are attuned to the dialectic undercurrents of living.
Ruth Roach Pierson took up the pen in pursuit of poetry after a distinguished career in academia. Her poems have appeared in ARC, Event, The Fiddlehead, Literary Review of Canada, The Malahat Review, Pagitica, Pottersfield Portfolio, Prism International, Queen’s Feminist Review, Quills, Room of One’s Own, and Vallum as well as a number of anthologies. She lives in Toronto.