For Kelsey Andrews, the metal-scarred Vancouver skyline is an emblem of distance from her family home in Grande Prairie, Alberta, where nothing breaks the sky but the curve of the Earth. As she adjusts from a thirsty countryside filled with little wonders to a lush cityscape with fewer miracles, depression nests within her, weighted by loneliness and past secrets that remain unsayable. These poems lessen the weight of those burdens. She befriends, rather than beats, depression with the help of a natural world populated by winged things, animals, trees, water and sky. Her poems play with earthy whimsy, though they are not without gristle and little violences — the moon’s ancient bruises, gargoyles that shriek and moan, the thunk when you split a chicken. From snails to suicide and picking blackberries to killing flies, through it all, Kelsey finds beauty and the light that persists.
"I love these poems and the mind, body and spirit that fashioned them. Who else could say, ‘Snails are tongues / pried loose from mouths / and clothed in enamel?’ Who else listens so attentively that she knows that snails ‘say Gentle / to the ground.’ This poet has your back because she hears ‘the scratching of the creatures at your back.’ These are words, insights and wonders that make a reader more human, more animal and less alone." — Lorna Crozier, Poet and Governor General’s Award for Poetry winner
Kelsey Andrews grew up in Grande Prairie, Alberta, and now lives on Vancouver Island, in Saanichton. Landscape and the natural world anchor her writing as she explores her past and various possible presents. She is interested in small things and internal weather.