Caribou Run

At one moment, a pure abstraction; at the next, an incontrovertible presence of hooves, antlers, and fur. The beating heart of this assured debut by Richard Kelly Kemick is the Porcupine caribou herd of the western Arctic.

In Caribou Run, Richard Kelly Kemick orchestrates a suite of poems both encyclopedic and lyrical, in which the caribou is both metaphor and phenomenon — text and exegesis. He explores what we share with this creature of blood and bone and what is hidden, alien, and ineffable.

Following the caribou through their annual cycle of migration, Kemick experiments with formal and thematic variations that run from lyric studies of the creature and its environment, to found poems that play with the peculiar poetry of scientific discourse, to highly personal poems that find resonance in the caribou as a metaphor and a guiding spirit. Running the gamut from long-lined free verse and ghazal form to tightly controlled tankas and interwoven rhyme schemes, Caribou Run serves notice that a formidable new talent has been let loose on the terrain of Canadian poetry.


Richard Kelly Kemick

Richard Kelly Kemick's poetry, prose, and criticism have been published in magazines and journals across Canada and the United States, including the Fiddlehead, the New Quarterly, and Tin House (Open Bar). He has won the poetry prizes of both Grain magazine and Echolocation. He lives in Calgary.
Chapter Contributors Pages Year Price
Introduction – ‘Kar-ә-bōō, n. – Ruminant Digestion – The Love Poem as Caribou – Crossings (Thetis Lake) – The Mad Trapper of Rat River, 1932 …
23 $2.30
The Calving Grounds – Skull Formation – Postpartum from the Perspective of Grade Ten Biology – To What Is Left Behind
10 $1.00
Tankas from the Tundra – Ms. Arimo Remembers John Hornby, Caribou Bay, 1928 – Thumbing a ride on the 93 – Wolves – British Mountains, Yukon River Watershed, 1851 – …
14 $1.40
Calgary Zoo, August 15th, 2010 – Antlers – Crossings (Highway 5) – The Process of Extinction – Caribou Moss, Cladonia rangiferna – A Note Left on the Dresser – …
10 $1.00
Bones – After we had each grabbed a leg and tugged – The Raven and the Caribou – Genesis 7:11 – Pyrrhic – Overhead – Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial …
21 $2.10