Signing Waking in the Tree House (Cormorant Books).
Michael Lithgow was born in Ottawa and settled in Vancouver in the mid-80s, where he was active in community radio and television, theater, freelance writing, and poetry. Before returning to school to pursue studies in communications, he worked as a paralegal in First Nations law. His poems have appeared in numerous Canadian magazines and in Cormorant’s anthology, Undercurrents: New Voices in Canadian Poetry. He currently lives in Chelsea, Quebec, where he is finishing a Ph.D and teaching at Carleton University.
The poems in his first collection carry the reader on a stream of sensory impressions towards some heightened awareness. In a voice characterized by curiosity, astonishment, and candour, the poet records what passes through him in settings as various as a derelict rooming house, a hospital room, a junk shop, a Cape Breton farmhouse, the old Jewish Quarter in Cracow, a Montreal bus during morning rush hour. Lithgow’s poems gravitate towards darker terrain – not at the expense of humour and irony, but with an energetic interest in the beauty of what time does to things, and a pleasure in language that searches for meaning a little beyond the bounds of the ordinary.
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