Deanna Young is the English Poet Laureate of Ottawa, 2019-2021


“taut, lyric poems packed with haunting images” – Toronto Star


Reunion is a parable, an origin story, a cautionary tale. It is also a time machine in which poems commune with ghosts in an attempt both to reckon with and subvert their legacy. It is a tale of the impossible quest for the original, unhurt self. A girlhood is re-inhabited and oddly transformed as the adult becomes ally of her younger self. Young has created a distinctive pastoral-gothic hybrid; her daring spirit shapes a collection both deeply generous to and demanding of the reader.

In my right side, a tiny pain 
I’ve been observing for months. 

A vague, intermittent twinge. 

Doctors don’t have time for such delusions. 

There are too many others so close to death 
they can smell its breath.

Best wait.

–from “Reunion”