About the book

In her debut collection, Slide, Barbara Myers plays with the eternal present, the nunc stans, taking us through time and space, over three continents, where people, places and events continue to co-exist in memory and in the body. consummate skill. Whether in form, near-form, or free form, here are poems with an ear to sound and the music of language, accessible and seamlessly crafted.

About the author

Myers, Barbara

Barbara Myers grew up in Halifax's North End, and worked at odd jobs to help put herself through school. She was a reporter for the Halifax Mail-Star and Chronicle-Herald and a writer-researcher for the Royal Commission on the Status of Women and the LeDain Inquiry into Non-Medical Drug Use, before settling into many years of communications consulting for the government in Toronto and Ottawa.

Since the late 1990s, Myers has published widely in journals and anthologies, and has won literary prizes including Other Voices (first place, 2000) as well as Arc's Poem of the Year (HM, in 2006). For six years, she worked as an associate editor at Arc, Canada’s National Poetry Magazine, to which she continues to contribute reviews and essays. She has published a number of chapbooks, both her own and collections compiled from the work of students in a poetry group she facilitates. A community activist, she lives in Ottawa, where she regularly volunteers for the Ottawa International Writers' Festival.


Fugue in Winter

These days colours are muted but everything speaks to me
sons and daughters grown gentle with each other in ritual reunions
pigeons that purr on the balcony like itinerant cats
making the circuit

everything speaks to me, winter relents
grown sons and daughters gentle with each other
a white complexion of mind
glow of shorn boughs in moonlight

winter relents everything speaks
long limbs of pearled boughs and bushes
generations of roses in this wrinkled berry
the colour of their voices gentle.



The image clings to painted plaster
walls reprised and magnified
35 mm laughs and poses larger than life
lean on the veranda
in casual immortality

a hale and profane grand-dad wipes
the mouth organ
a young flirtatious woman looks back
over her shoulder—
a galaxy of light sheddings, inconstant
scatterings of children in neat shorts

where’s the grammar
for this — this was you, wasn’t it

still and dark when the imaging light goes out
sliding back into
your spine, your blood,
always the same age
they ever  you ever


Yellow calls us to the things of the world

Lemon slickers, golden arches,
ochred calendula. Raw-siennad
oak leaves. Yellow yields.
Mediates between stop and go.

Makes school buses visible.
Paints straight lines down the middle
of black asphalt to keep the world
right. In deciduous maturity,

yellow releases the tree
from its green youth, lets go
minor gods of luminescence:
wait, it says. Wait. Look.


Slide is a compelling book for many reasons,from its range and depth, to its inventive sensibilities and generosity of vision. Barbara Myers' poems carry with them both an urgency and serenity on their journey to lyrical eloquence. The intensely crafted… >>

— Don Domanski

It is said that good things are worth waiting for, and it's poetry collections like Slide, a first book from Ottawa writer Barbara Myers, that prove the adage true. A longtime writer (Myers has been a journalist, a government writer/researcher,… >>

— Ronnie R. Brown Canadian Bookseller

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