True Concessions

Winner, Archibald Lampman Poetry Award and Ottawa Book Award

These poems chart moments where the beauty of life is glimpsed like a carnival through a crack in a fence. The verse is full of living toys, dressing up, and daylight ghosts. His world is peopled with gods and heroes and inventories the luminous, devastating details of everyday lives. Poile discerns that love is an odd mix of a fairy princess and the monster under the bed. Tracing a firm entry into middle age, Poile favours the expression of a shared experience of the world as opposed to the youthful desire to be unique. He vaults between two worlds: an outer, urban landscape where people raise families, make a living, and get on in the world and an inner terrain of thought and emotion. Metre and rhyme both underscore and undercut Poile’s subject matter, and he captivates with texture and sound.

Although his work is informed by tradition, his language is grounded in the quotidian, setting up a fruitful dialog between past and present. There are no rules when it comes to making a poem that sings and shimmers.


Craig Poile

Craig Poile grew up in New Brunswick. He earned degrees in journalism and English literature at Carleton University in Ottawa, where he now lives. He works as a technical writer, has been active as a playwright and theatre producer, and co-owns Collected Works Bookstore. His first book of poetry, First Crack, was shortlisted for the 1999 Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. He and his partner Christopher have two children, Lily and Samantha.
Chapter Title Contents Contributors Pages Year Price


Candyman – Pegged – The Dance – Coming Out – Side-by-Side – April 20 – Fast-Forward – Extension I – Extension II – Window Dressing 17 $1.70


Black Box Blues – Early Reports – Tempted – Place Royale – Overheard – Playoffs – How to Trim Squid – Suits – Concession – A Year Away … 20 $2.00


Evolution – Spring Snow – Sea Goddess – The Balloon – Lessons from Horus – Sugar Bowl – Room for More – The Performance – The Chaperone 14 $1.40


From the Couch – In the Underworld – Polymer – Apogee with Coffee – Twice That Day – Hearing Pan -The Blanket 11 $1.10