by Zoë Landale
“Landale’s language burns away the mists of the past, preparing a place of welcome for our ghosts.”
“… passionate and profound…there is humour here and terror, compassion and anger…a true and original achievement.”
“. . . exercises in portratiture reminiscent of the heightening realism of artists like Christopher Pratt. . . simple, yet almost unbearable tense domestic imagery. . . awesome clarity of description.”
The Antigonish Review
“Landale’s enormous talent is in full flower . . . a powerful display of wisdom and hope.”
“Burning Stone is a collection which should have wide appeal.”
“. . . a page-turner, as the reader joins her in her struggles with the dead and the living, her search for compassion and understanding. . . . beautiful and illuminated poems.”
“. . . fierce in its honesty. Landale’s haunting is our own.”
Books in Canada
Here we are arranged
into set-pieces on the sofa.
Manners by mother,
& temper by Dad.
Fear all our own.
I am fourteen, the eldest.
I sit with one knee
crossed, hands held in the lap
in closed, palm-on-palm gesture that says
We three girls have put on hauteur for the camera,
formally assumed mouths
though the youngest’s socks
have collapsed at her ankles like panting dogs
& her skirt bunches at the waist.
Our brother gazes at something invisible
on the shag rug.
His downed white lids
give him the look of someone asleep
or dreaming of stillness,
lit green glass on a sunny wall.
Far from the shouting that will resume
within moments after the snick
of the shutter.
The middle girl has round
cheeks & eyes that narrow warily.
from one locus of strong emotion
to the next, a compass needle
pulled by forces
for which she has no name.
She will die
when she is twenty without
In the photograph, she looks guilty