Dionne Brand



New and Collected Poems


A man with his head in the clouds, an artist who has visions, is shot dead after a domestic disturbance. His partner struggles with her feelings of responsibility, and whole relationships, whole lives, the entire multicultural city of Toronto, swirl around the fatal moment. Outsiders settle in the unfamiliar landscape of a new country, uncomfortable with the place and its people, uncomfortable sometimes with themselves. Still earlier, the poet discovers herself as speaker and subject, in a joyful, imagistic, rigorous and ruthless reclamation of the poetic.

With a critical introduction by scholar and theorist Christina Sharpe, Nomenclature is the searing new volume spanning a decades-long career, from 1982-2022, and gathering the new and collected poems of one of Canada's most honoured, significant and bestselling poets. Here, Dionne Brand bears powerful witness to the seemingly unending wars, the ascendance of fundamentalisms and the nameless casualties of the current era, but also to the rich textures of human life and human feeling that, in the face of this world's violences, endure and flourish - and that might reach beyond the known to some other, possibly future, time and place.

It is a master work, classic and living, and a record of one of the great writers of our age.