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Tales for an Urban Sky
Alice Major

September 1999, 6 x 9, 96 pp
poetry (BISAC POE011000)
Broken Jaw Press
ISBN-13 978-1-896647-11-1
ISBN 1-896647-11-1 (tp)
$17.95

Winner of Poets’ Corner Award, 1999
Finalist, City of Edmonton Book Prize, 1999
Finalist, Alberta Book Award’s Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry, 2000


Alice Major’s focus is the literary equivalent of many postmodern artists: the core of a large city. Out of its barrenness and ugliness she creates a cluster of myths, which, in her own words, are “about possibilities of an ideal world and the gaps between that world and the mundane.” With her ability to forge stunning metaphors she has created one of the most imaginative collections of poetry to be found anywhere. In so doing, she makes the world where generations “have emerged and died/ with no glimpse of galaxies” an exciting and almost inhabitable place.
—Robert Hawkes, PCA Judge

This collection features brilliantly inventive, funny and poignant myths. In the titular sequence every one of these narratives satisfies the child’s desire for a clear-cut tale, the city-dweller’s hunger for legendary aetiologies to equal those that dignify the countryside, and the adult’s love for a good mix of intellect and humour.
—Eric Miller, PCA Judge

Alice Major was born in the shipbuilding, whisky-distilling town of Dumbarton, Scotland. She lives in Edmonton, Alberta and is President of The League of Canadian Poets. Her published books include Time Travels Light (1992), Lattice of the Years (1998) and Scenes from the Sugar Bowl Café (BS Poetry Society, 1998). In 2005, Alice Major was appointed the inaugeral City of Edmonton Poet Laureate.

Author events: • June 9, 1:30-3 PM: Panel discussion, "Life Under A Laureate's Wreath" with Pauline Michel, Louise B. Halfe, Lorri Nielson Glenn and Alice Major.
PoetyFest '06, League of Canadian Poets, Ottawa

18-24 Sept 2006, Edmonton Poetry Week, Edmonton, AB
• 20 Sept, Wed, afternoon: "the relation of poet and public" Poet Laureates panel discussion by Pauline Michel (Parliament, Ottawa), a href="http://www.brokenjaw.com/catalog/pg80.htm">Lorrie Neilsen Glenn (Halifax); Dolores Kendrick (Washington, DC) and Alice Major (Edmonton). @ the University of Alberta.
• 20 Sept, Wed., evening: A public reading by the poet laureates, and celebration of new books by local members of the League of Canadian Poets.


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© copyright Joe Blades/Broken Jaw Press Inc. 1999, 2005.