Separation Anxiety (Robert Kroetsch) (Paperback)
This poignant debut by Gavin Bradley explores the emotional toll of different kinds of separation: from a partner, a previously held sense of self, or a home and the people left behind. The main narrative describes the deterioration of a long-term relationship, interweaving poems dealing with the loneliness of immigration and the anxiety of separation from Northern Ireland, the poet's homeland. These personal poems enter their stories through a variety of characters and places, from dock builders to dogs, from shorelines to volcanoes, to mouths soft and humming like beehives. Other sections of the collection examine a post-Troubles' experience in Northern Ireland (evoking the lived-experience of growing up with bombs and domineering Catholicism), tell grandfather stories, and show a lasting love for the people, the language, and the land. Separation Anxiety ultimately conveys a message of hope, reminding us that we'll be remembered for / ourselves, and not the spaces we / leave behind.