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Standard candles

Alice Major

Canadian Studies, Poetry

Published: November 2015
ISBN: 9781772120912
Pages: 144 Size: 5.25x9

There is a beginning and a middle.
There is an arc of narrative.
There is a word, a large engraved initial.
There is imperative—
a cause, a god. Or not.
—from "Let us compare cosmologies"

Like the ever-widening universe, Standard Candles expands on Alice Major’s earlier themes of family, mythology, and cosmology, teasing out subtle wonders in form and subject. Her voice resonates through experiments with old and new poetic forms as she imbues observed and imagined phenomena—from the centres of galaxies to her own backyard—with the most grounded and grounding moments of human experience, masterfully linking cosmology with the human heart. Readers of poetry and other speculative literatures in search of an emotional dimension that seamlessly intersects with the four dimensions of space and time will surely find it here.

Alice Major emigrated from Scotland at the age of eight, and grew up in Toronto before moving west to work as a weekly newspaper reporter. She served as the City of Edmonton’s first poet laureate (2005–2007). A widely published author, she has earned many distinctions, including the Writers’ Guild of Alberta’s Golden Pen Award and a place in Edmonton’s Arts and Culture Hall of Fame. Her most recent book is the award-winning essay collection Intersecting Sets: A Poet Looks at Science (University of Alberta Press, 2011). Her website is www.alicemajor.com.