Amateurs at Love

Love is a boxcar going off the rails. For anyone who has experienced the highs and lows of love and wants to know they are not alone.

Patricia Young’s new collection confirms her status as one of Canada’s great and most versatile contemporary poets. In Amateurs at Love, she explores the dynamic, liminal space between lovers, taking precise aim at the silent climacteric moments of the heart: the interrogating, persuading, confiding, reflecting moments that help us feel and understand that distance.

Her response is unexpected, unsettling and emotionally pungent. To the question of what is love, her interlocutor answers,

I think it means a boxcar going off the rails, grain spilling down a gully, fermenting over summer, a bear gorging on that grain, passing out in a field, a bear that could wake any moment, hung-over and thirsty and ready to kill for a drop of water

In forms ranging wildly from pangramic love songs to prose poems, Young guides her readers through the many layers of human relationship with unappeasable joy. Her poetic voice, her bold and unconventional metaphors, her rich incantatory rhythms and linguistic dexterity, lure us into a pulsing universe that leaves no aspect of human nature unblemished.


Patricia Young

Patricia Young is the author of twelve poetry collections and one book of short fiction. Her poems have been widely anthologized and also appeared in six chapbooks and numerous magazines and journals. She has twice been nominated for the Governor General’s Award for poetry and has won the Pat Lowther Memorial Award, the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, the CBC Poetry Prize, the Bliss Carman Poetry Award, the Confederation Poets Prize, and several National Magazine Awards. She lives in Victoria.
Chapter Title Contents Contributors Pages Year Price


What does love mean? – He made a fetish – The woman stepped off the bus – For her nineteenth birthday – Every morning of his vacation – Sex, he says – In the … 21 $2.10


Menorca #1 – Barcelona – Menorca #2 – Granada – Watching the Gypsy Boy Watch His Mother 8 $0.80


Cow – Turkey – Rat – Rooster – Horse – Dog – Goat – Lamb – Rabbit – Mouse – Pig – Goose – Duck – Cat – Chicken … 18 $1.80


The Quick Brown Fox – Frolic Pretty Wag-Lambs – Crazy Fredrick – Quick Zephyrs Blow – Pack My Box – My Girl Wove – Farmer Jack Realized – Waltz, Nymph … 12 $1.20


Mother – Brother – Sister – Husband – Grandfather – Grandmother – Cousin – Daughter – Husband – Son – Daughter – Son – Aunt … 18 $1.80


Dream of the Newborn – The End of Poetry – The Angels in Hell – Winter – French Maid – Mice 8 $0.80