What The Word On The Street is Reading: Toronto Book Awards

This year, we are happy to welcome back our Toronto Book Awards‘ bloggers, Christine and Carol Sweeton – our mother/daughter blogging team! They will be reading and reviewing each of the 5 finalists for this year’s Toronto Book Awards, which were announced on August 30, 2012. To see who is nominated this year, click here. To read more about Christine and Carol, click here.

First up is Paramita, Little Black a collection of poetry by Suzanne Robertson.

About the Book:

In her first collection of poems, Suzanne Robertson meditates on the nature of intimacy; the connective tissue that binds stranger to stranger, human to animal, soul to landscape, heart to mind. Inspired by the Buddhist paramitas – actions that spark a spiritual sojourn, the poems attempt to both transcend and stay grounded in a conventional universe. Follow the humourous, pedestrian plight of a secretary/writer grappling with her noonday demon, her love affair with Little Black, and the metamorphosis of her marriage as she harnesses the practical power of poetry, marrying words “to the wind horse,” “to the lies and the gossip and the truth of the river / as it pours out the mouth of right-now.” Paramita, Little Black explores acts of transformation; documenting a journey to live and love authentically amidst the transient anatomy of our twenty-first century lives.

Chris and Carol’s review:

Suzanne Robertson’s pictorial flow of words spoke differently to our two readers. For Christine, each page of Paramita, Little Black brought visions of a city that she loves and experiences everyday. Toronto slides off the pages, shiny yet gritty and real.  For her caring, and now slightly concerned, mother, Carol, the book showed a city of loss, loneliness, and confusion. Beyond Robertson’s depiction of Toronto, Carol was most affected by the elements woven throughout the text that related to Little Black, the author’s beloved dog. The most moving section for both Carol and Christine was the final poem “October”, which begins with the following lines: “”When that scrap of velvet died in our arms it was / unlike / any sorrow I carried. / Grief was exactly 21.2 pounds of flesh and fur.” For Christine, having recently lost a pet, every line reminded her of the pain that so many of us know so well. Let this little black book shine a little light into the coming dark months of Toronto’s winter. It is a wonderful read to remind you of the joys and sorrows this great city has to offer.

See Suzanne Robertson read from her nominated title at The Word On The Street in the Toronto Book Awards Tent at 1:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Make sure to say hi to Carol, she will be volunteering in that tent!

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