April 2008
Shauna Paull
ISBN 978-0-9783879-4-5
6 by 9 Trade Paperback
60 pages $15.95

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Front Cover Back Cover Title Page
Copyright Page 7 Page 8
Page 9 Page 10 Acknowledgements

roughened in undercurrent

by Shauna Paull

Shauna Paull takes risks with form in these long poems which flow across the page, pile up against margins right and left, undercut and roughen, spill into deep silent pools. No visual clues direct the reader, no titles, no capital letters, no table of contents, no page numbers to signal the end of one story and the beginning of another — we are set adrift, like the women and children of these poems, asked to consider what wholeness we can make.

    In the words of Toni Morrison, language does not ‘pin down’ slavery, genocide, war. Its force, its felicity, is in its reach toward the ineffable. The vitality of language lies in its ability to limn the actual, imagined and possible lives of its speakers, readers, writers.
   Likewise, roughened in undercurrent glimpses the common astonishments of lives lived at risk, the confinements of isolation, relational and state oppression and the persistent miracle of community.
     Here, a poet holds the trembling stories of loss:  :a young woman’s death in detention, a man with aids, dying on the street, a man committing a war crime, a woman navigating in solitude the violations of her past. Here, at the juncture of witness and experience, modern urban fracture and the body’s deep and awful silences, a poet reaches toward the place where meaning may lie.
     Here is a poet’s hard to hold desire toward justice, a voice that allies with the undercurrents of modern living; its complex notes of resistance, resilience and being, a hungry eye that watches from a far singing place beyond sense, and not away.
     Here, finally, is the transparence and the necessity of hope — what birds, in their flightsongs, know and share with us. Listen, listen.

Cover photograph by Donna H. Hagerman Photography. Donna Hagerman graduated from Emily Carr College of Art with honors in photography. Since then she has shown her art photography in galleries, curated, and organized art shows. She currently works as a commercial and portrait photographer: www.donnahagerman.com

Cover model is Salome Diaz, Artistic director of Continuum at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts.

Shauna Paull is a poet, educator and community advocate. She completed an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia in 1999. Since then, she has led creative writing workshops at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts in Deer Lake Park, Burnaby and the Emily Carr Institute of Arts and Design. Shauna also works in a variety of communities to promote women's equality in areas of labour and mobility rights, poverty alleviation and career continuity. Shauna serves on various working groups and networks including CCWESTT, GASAT and GAATW-Canada with particular emphasis on advocacy for immigrant, refugee and irregular migrant workers. Locally, Shauna is currently Health Chair for the BC NGO Steering Committee on Human Rights in Human Trafficking, and partnered with the Canadian Red Cross in presenting a public education series called Look Beneath the Surface, addressing global migration and human trafficking. She has been active in the Raise the Rates Campaign, and a community collaborator with the Economic Security Project of the CCPA/SFU Women's Studies. She led the BC Coalition for Women's Equality and Human Rights campaign last fall. Shauna represented Canada at the UN Commission on the Status of Women in 2006.

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