One Thing — Then Another by Claire Kelly, ECW Press

One Thing — Then Another: Poems

Kelly, Claire

  • A poetic response to the tumult of a move across country

    One Thing — Then Another is a collection of poetry divided into three unique sections: “East” explores the constraints of living under the poverty line in a have-not province. “And” is a long poem about moving in a U-Haul across the prairies during an ice storm. “West” considers what it means to live in the have-est of have provinces and trying to acclimate to that alongside an ever-present drought.

    The poems are largely about contrast: east to west, flood to aridity, poverty to comfort, small town to city. Throughout this accessible, smart, and funny collection, there are many descriptions of apocalyptic upheaval to reflect the feelings of disruption that often accompany relocation.


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  • One Thing — Then Another is Claire Kelly’s second collection. She lives and writes in Edmonton, Alberta.

  • Published: April 2019

    ISBN: 9781770414556

    Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 in.

    Pages: 80

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“It takes the wit of a Claire Kelly to coin the term ‘un-talisman.’ That’s what a poem might be in the twenty-first century — it has no magical powers, won’t offer false hope, but when fashioned by the likes of Kelly, it offers a kind of eyes-wide-open solace: carry these un-talismans with you and watch the abject clutter of the ‘post-pre-post-apocalyptic’ era shine in their presence.” — Sue Sinclair, author of Heaven’s Thieves

“Humourous, wry, homesick, filled with nuances not apparent on a first-read, One Thing – Then Another captures contrast—small town to city, ocean to prairie, what was, to what is.” — Laurie Mackie’s blog

“There was simply no way for me to resist Claire Kelly's collection, One Thing — Then Another . . . There are nifty cultural references . . . which I'm always a sucker for, but it still all comes down to language. Kelly has some fantastic lines.” — Malcolm Avenue Review blog

“It's a speaker and a collection that contains the vastness of contrasting weather and ambiance and socioeconomics, of the sweeping mass of the country, of the concerns and stagnations of generational conflict, and of the storms ranging above it all.” — Vallum Magazine

“Claire Kelly’s sophomore collection is millennial in the best possible way — witty, transient, both ironically and sincerely nostalgic, and deeply wary of the status quo. A friend’s Facebook post is capable of making the world more magical, a trans-Canada move is infused with all the tragedy of Wuthering Heights, and the gods drive jalopies and eat marshmallows. With her masterful ear and keen eye for connections, Kelly blends vernaculars into a playful and singular voice. This is an excellent collection.” — Kayla Czaga, author of Dunk Tank and For Your Safety Please Hold On

“In a tone reminiscent of Solie’s snappy urban allusiveness, Kelly sends us from the poverties of one province, through a U-hauled ice storm and into the supposed riches of another, despite the inevitable droughts . . . Kelly has a knack for carving the breath between lines and jabbing jiving rhythms at the reader.” — Marrow Reviews blog

“As the name may imply, this book is a patchwork of poetic styles and topics untangled by an author adept in varied form, syntax, and expression . . . Her work explores the sheer vastness of the Canadian landscape with a personal lens; experiences we cannot share are made beautiful and engaging.” — The Poetry Question

“Present throughout is humour, both realist and absurd, with a witty millennial lens . . . Its subjects are often varied and pleasantly surprising. Read this book and travel to places familiar and strange.” — Prairie Fire