Press Release from Leaf Press
By Emilia Nielsen
“Surge Narrows is gorgeously sensual and sharply precise—if we could taste it, this book would be salmonberry. It would be salt. To read these poems is to stand under a waterfall, letting the words rush like cold, clean water over the skin. A powerful debut.” –Anne Simpson
Surge Narrows opens with “Surge,” a fragmented narrative of coming of age in the remote coastal community of Surge Narrows, and closes with the series “Vernacular Hearts,” which explores a queer cityscape. Between these frames, Surge Narrows engages various emotional and physical terrains, and this disjuncture is perhaps best exemplified by the anti-lyrics of “Disquiet” and “Sensorial.” “Pass Creek” explores wilderness solitude and the geography of place at a northern Alberta fire tower site. In “Indifferent Season” the lyric poem aspires to not just distillation of language, but close observation and pitch perfect diction.
Emilia Nielsen holds a BFA in Writing from the University of Victoria, and a MA in English and Creative Writing from the University of New Brunswick. Currently, she is a PhD Candidate at the University of BC. Her poetry has appeared in literary journals including The Antigonish Review, Contemporary Verse 2, English Studies in Canada, Event, Descant, The Fiddlehead, Grain, Prairie Fire, Plenitude, Room Magazine, and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in Poetry by Prism international. Surge Narrows is her first book.