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Dionne Brand’s hypnotic, urgent long poem is about the bones of fading cultures and ideas, about the living museums of spectacle where these bones are found. At the centre of Ossuaries is the narrative of Yasmine, a woman living an underground life, fleeing from past actions and regrets, in a perpetual state of movement. She leads a solitary clandestine life, crossing borders actual (Algiers, Cuba, Canada), and timeless. Cold-eyed and cynical, she contemplates the periodic crises of the contemporary world. This is a work of deep engagement, sensuality, and ultimate craft from an essential observer of our time and one of the most accomplished poets writing today.
About the Author
DIONNE BRAND's literary credentials are legion. Her novel, Theory, won the 2019 OCM BOCAS Prize for Caribbean Literature, and was a Globe and Mail Best Book. Her poetry collection, The Blue Clerk, was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize and won the Trillium Book Prize. Her collection Ossuaries won the Griffin Poetry Prize, and other collections have won the Governor General's Literary Award, the Trillium Book Award and the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. Among her novels, In Another Place, Not Here was selected as a NYT Book Review Notable Book and a Best Book by the Globe and Mail; At the Full and Change of the Moon was selected a Best Book by the LA Times; and What We All Long For won the Toronto Book Award. In 2006, Brand was awarded the Harbourfront Festival Prize for her contribution to the world of books and writing, and from 2009 to 2012 she served as Toronto's Poet Laureate. In 2017, she was named to the Order of Canada. Brand is a Professor in the School of English and Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph. She lives in Toronto.
Praise for Dionne Brand:
"[Brand] makes music and sense of our complex age."
—Jury citation, Governor General's Award
"Brand's luscious and ferocious lines go beyond a critique of dystopian realities to construct, in themselves, in their keen, lyric intelligence, an oasis of truth, compassion, and sensuality."
—Jury Citation, Griffin Poetry Prize
"[Inventory] shows there's no better chronicler of the ache in our body politic. . . . In the face of the desensitization that comes with a steady diet of the passing horrors contained in the daily news, Inventory is a kind of re-sensitization: lyrically compelling, impassioned and stirring."
"Inventory is damning without being superior, sorrowful without falling into self-pity, joyful without becoming naïve. . . . Inventory is thought-provoking enough with these nuances of rage, despair, guilt. What makes it even more powerful, and hard to put down, is Brand's willingness to match the strength of these desolate lists with a strength of music, dream and intimate feeling."
—Globe and Mail
"You don't read Dionne Brand, you hear her."