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  • Deepwater Vee
  • Written by Melanie Siebert
  • Format: Trade Paperback | ISBN: 9780771080333
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  • Deepwater Vee
  • Written by Melanie Siebert
  • Format: eBook | ISBN: 9780771080340
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Deepwater Vee

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Written by Melanie SiebertAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Melanie Siebert


List Price: $11.99


On Sale: March 30, 2010
Pages: 112 | ISBN: 978-0-7710-8034-0
Published by : McClelland & Stewart McClelland & Stewart
Deepwater Vee Cover

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Synopsis|Excerpt|Table of Contents


Melanie Siebert’s stunning debut collection travels remote northern rivers, as well as two of Canada’s most threatened rivers, the Athabasca and the North Saskatchewan. These rivers push the poems into a contemplation of loss and into the terrain of Alexander Mackenzie’s dreams, a busker’s broken-down street riffs, and the borderland wanderings of a grandmother whose absence is felt as a presence. The poems’ currents are turbulent, braided, submerged. Narrative streams appear like tributaries glimpsed through brush, and then veer into unexpected territories, where boundaries blur – between the self and the other, between the living and the dead, between the human and the wild – and loss carries with it both music and silence. In this virtuoso collection, Melanie Siebert has transformed language into that rarest thing, a singular poetic vision.


On your knees in a boat with sweet rocker and no keel, water pillows
up against the red hull with its silt hiss. You sight the drops between
boulders, gear and your yeah-buts, your okay-maybes lashed tight, and
you heel the canoe on its side for the swift eddy-in, the river’s leggy coltgleam.
Spruce reel by, the limestone peaks, skids of outwash. The river
sticks a coin behind its ear, pulls two from its wrist.
You’ve brought food from far away, burned fuel climbing the passes
to the Great Divide, ramped, crevassed, the great glacier spilling three
ways: Pacific, Arctic, Atlantic. You’re taking the low moan of miles
home, heading east, northeast, the winded push to the Interior Plains.
Even sandstone and the shale beds of the foothills weather in.
River of mixed tongues and guns traded west, frayed edge of the
muscle-old herds chewing the hills, fringe between grassland and aspen
parkland. The river opaque in all seasons, cartilage, cash flow. When
Peter Erasmus first tried the ford, his horse shook him loose and he
would’ve drowned but someone yelled, Grab her tail. River of last hunts,
the Thirst Dance, the broad forehead of Horsechild, just a boy sweating
at his father’s side on the long walk to surrender at Carlton in the wolfy
breath-heat of the downcast grass.
River, slab of the weathered-down, low under the long hunger, low to
the bulked-up meat of the farms, low now, low under the berms of the
fat lip. Thick backs of murky sturgeon, sinew of the who-knows-where.
And the river slows, gull-flush and scavenging, and you cruise on the
gaze of deer, lowrider sliding the afternoon in the valley of the willow
of stealth. Opal. Inner wrist of what’s left.
You carry water from taps and don’t know how to eat what’s here. You
haven’t built your boat, still you take a bearing in the magnetic field of
runoff, beam your signals to the satellites of fallen birds. And this boat
grafts you to water’s big-winged glide, its giveaway, the cool salve of its
going-going-gone, pushing to a wavering long-held note. Inner wrist,
underworld. Water on the downgrade, flowing loaded and filmed.
-- North Saskatchewan River

Table of Contents

Deepwater Vee
Bellanca Esker
Alsek Lake
Bridge to Shell’s Albian Mine, Downstream, River Right
Surf City
Mackenzie ’s Dream
Skull Canyon
Unnamed Creek
Mackenzie ’s Dream
Hell Roaring Creek
Grass Hills, River Left, Downstream of Battleford
The Limit of Travels in This Direction
Mackenzie, Having Not Seen a Star Since Leaving Athabasca
Shifting, Overrun, the Symptoms, the Shoals Building
D’Aoust Esker
Nadlok—place where the deer cross
Map Unrolled on the Table
Letter to Kitty, Never Written
Long After Leaving, Being Overtaken with the Consequences of Suffering in the Northwest
Letter to Kitty, Never Written
Letter to Kitty, Never Written
Letter to Kitty, Never Written
Letter to Kitty, Never Written
Letter to Kitty, Never Written
Windbound, Unnamed Camp
Tlogotsho—big place of grass
Double-Barrel Lake
The Splits
Melanie Siebert

About Melanie Siebert

Melanie Siebert - Deepwater Vee

Photo © Rob Skelly

Melanie Siebert recently completed an MFA at the University of Victoria with a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Fellowship. Her poetry has been broadcast on CBC Radio and published in The Walrus, The Malahat Review, Event, and Prairie Fire. For more than ten years, she has worked as a guide on wilderness rivers across the north from Alaska to Baffin Island.


FINALIST 2010 Governor General's Literary Award - Poetry

  • Deepwater Vee by Melanie Siebert
  • March 30, 2010
  • Poetry - Canadian; Poetry
  • McClelland & Stewart
  • $15.50
  • 9780771080333

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