In this virtuoso display of sonnets, free verse, prose poems, villanelles, ghazals, and aphorisms, People’s Poet Robert Priest makes it clear why the Pacific Rim Review has called him “surely the most imaginatively inventive poet in the country.” A profound meditation on love, death, sex, and sickness, If I Didn’t Love the River speaks directly to the polarizations of our time. Priest’s mastery of dark satire, lyric ebullience, erotic verse, and the pithy maxim is as gratifying as it is unique and will appeal to the yearning for poetry, which so often goes unsatisfied in the reading public. No emotional territory — from angst, anger, anguish, and despair to whimsical delight — is off-limits here. Intent on releasing reverberations from the full depths and heights of what it is to be human, this is Robert Priest at his protean best.
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Robert Priest’s words have been debated in the legislature, posted on buses, quoted in the Farmers’ Almanac, and turned into a hit song. His book Reading the Bible Backwards peaked at number two on the Canadian poetry charts, outsold only by Leonard Cohen. He lives in Toronto, ON.
Published: September 2022
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 in.
“There are few poets who can articulate love, loss and the political like Priest. And certainly not in one book. The core of his work is to make connections, to underscore the way words echo other words and how inhuman affections and the need for justice form the basis for human bonds.” — Marrow Reviews blog