Hate to tell you, but you’re going to die. / Quite soon. Me, too. / Shuck off the wisdom while it’s warm. / Death does no harm / To wisdom. Sarah Tolmie’s second collection of poems is a traditional ars moriendi, a how-to book on the practices of dying. Confronting the fear of death head-on, and describing the rituals that mitigate it, the poems in The Art of Dying take a satirical look at the ways we explain, enshrine, and, above all, evade death in contemporary culture. Some poems are personal – a parent tries to explain to a child why a grand- father is in hospital, or stages a funeral for a child’s imaginary friend – while others comment on how death figures in the news, on tv, and in social media. Some poems ask if there is any place left for poets in our rituals of memory and commemoration. A few examine the apocalyptic language of climate change. Others poke fun at the death-defying claims of posthumanism. A thoughtful and irreverent collection about serious concerns, The Art of Dying begins and ends with the fact of death, and strips away our euphemisms about it. Sarah Tolmie is associate professor of English at the University of Waterloo. Her poetry collection, Trio, was shortlisted for the 2016 Pat Lowther Memorial Award. Shiver. Swift whip of wind. / Fangs of the low front / stinging fierce as forest fires. / Frost thickening the stoop. In his debut collection, Short Histories of Light, Aidan Chafe recounts his Catholic upbringing in a household dealing with the common but too often taboo subject of mental illness. In unflinching fashion, Chafe reveals the unintended disasters that follow those who struggle with depression and the frustration of loved ones left to pick up the pieces. Other sections of the book shine a light on the wounds in- flicted by systems of patriarchy, particularly organized religion, and the caus- tic nature of humanity. Imagery and metaphor illuminate Chafe’s writing in a range of poetic forms, both modern and traditional. A boy stares helplessly through the walls of the family home, watches “filaments in glass skulls buzzing.” A father’s birthmark is described as a “scarlet letter.” Grandma is portrayed as a “forgotten girl on a Ferris wheel of feelings.” Vivid and haunting, at once tender and terse, Short Histories of Light captures what it feels like to be a short circuit in a world of darkness. Aidan Chafe is a public school teacher and the author of the chapbooks Right Hand Hymns and Sharpest Tooth. He lives in Burnaby, bc. 8 M Q U P S P R I N G 2 0 1 8 S P E C I F I C AT I O N S The Hugh MacLennan Poetry Series February 2018 978-0-7735-5271-5 $16.95T CDN, $16.95T US, £13.99 paper 5 x 7.5 110pp eBook available P O E T R Y S P E C I F I C AT I O N S The Hugh MacLennan Poetry Series February 2018 978-0-7735-5276-0 $16.95T CDN, $16.95T US, £13.99 paper 5 x 7.5 112pp eBook available P O E T R Y Short Histories of Light aidan chafe Vivid, haunting, and rhythmical, these poems illuminate the struggles of mental illness and uncover the sinister side of religion. The Art of Dying sarah tolmie A satirical look at the euphemistic practices of dying today.