About the book

Ellipses was inspired by a trinity of personal events: the deaths of both of Andrea MacPherson's grandmothers and the birth of her daughter. After the deaths of her two grandmothers, Andrea MacPherson came to realize that she did not really know their stories, and would not be able to ask them. In this collection she sets out to tell their stories, reimaging familiar lore to recreate the lives of these two extraordinary women. Ellipses reclaims the often obscured realities of motherhood, illness, and the struggles of these women for independence—in verse. This exploration leads to other marginalized voices in history—including Suzanne Valadon and the models who posed for Bellocq—and their stories. The poems in Ellipses are extractions, explorations, and, finally, moments of alternate life experiences that are so often left to the ... of historical record.

About the author

MacPherson, Andrea

Andrea MacPherson is a poet and novelist, and has written five books: two novels, Beyond the Blue, and When She Was Electric, and three poetry collections, Ellipses, Away, and Natural Disasters When She Was Electric placed number 6 on CBC Canada Reads: People’s Choice, and Natural Disasters was longlisted for the ReLit Awards. 

Her poetry was anthologized in the UK publication, How the Light Gets In, and she has been a runner-up in both Grain Magazine’s Short Grain Award, and Prism International’s Poetry Award.

Born in Vancouver, Andrea was raised in the lower mainland.  Andrea holds an MFA from the Creative Writing Department at the University of British Columbia, where she was Editor of Prism International.  She has also acted as the Reviews Editor for Event Magazine.  Currently an Associate Professor at the University of the Fraser Valley, Andrea teaches creative writing and literature.

Excerpt

Gertrude at ninety-one

Suddenly aged:
fear perhaps
(inability to catch her breath
vertigo, the suggestion of something cardiac)
or all those years catching up

a sanatorium; a farm; a city;
two fingers of rye (no, three);
a long, slow death;
the air on her face in the early afternoon.

Now, white hair appears
and hands grasp at walls to steady:
push back, push away what’s to come.
There is still the cry of a sparrow in morning
still the view of water from your window.

Reviews

Writing the Body  Andrea Macpherson - Ellipses  The two poetry collections at hand converge on a shared fascination with the roles that our bodies give to us, and the ways... >>

— Susie DeCoste Canadian Literature


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