The Small Words In my Body


Published when Connelly was twenty-one, this book won the Pat Lowther Award in 1991 for best poetry book of the year by a Canadian woman. Connelly wrote many of these poems when she was in her middle and late teens, but far from being juvenilia, they are fully accomplished works of art, by turns austere, brutal, and joyous. Charting a course through a childhood and adolescence marked by violence and suicide, the poet emerges into the unexpected and dazzling beauty of Southeast Asia and northern Spain. The collection as a whole becomes a travelogue of spirit, as a young woman steps gratefully into the world and into her own life even as she explores the shadows of the past.

Describing The Small Words In My Body Lorna Crozier has written, “A dazzling writer. This book will bcome a collector’s item so readers can see where the wonderful Karen Connelly began. Her metaphors are elegant, finely-tuned inventions. They take us into orbit but never leave behind the smells, tastes, and textures of the earth. I marvel at her sensuality, her startling insights, her rich and evocative music.”