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More About This Title Mockingbird
In poetry that strikes a delicate balance between candour and lament, Mockingbird tracks the aftershocks of a failed marriage through a variety of self-portraits. Derek Webster’s speakers itemize their regrets and fears while keeping sentimentality in check, the result is a first book of exceptional emotional power. Indeed, the distinctive and nuanced shapes of Webster’s exquisitely controlled lyrics highlight the great achievement of his debut: a clipped, often aphoristic line-making stripped down to cold truths. The struggle isn’t about being yourself, these poems argue, but about deciding which version of yourself to accept—and surviving the decision with equanimity.
Born in Richmond, Virginia, Derek Webster grew up in Beijing, Toronto and London. He received an MFA in Poetry from Washington University in St. Louis, where he studied with Carl Phillips, Erin Belieu and Yusef Komunyakaa. His poetry and prose have appeared in The Fiddlehead, The Malahat Review, The Walrus, and Boston Review. The founding editor of Maisonneuve magazine, he lives in Montreal.