On Not Losing My Father's Ashes in the Flood

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In his final years, Richard Harrison's father suffered from a form of dementia, but he died without ever forgetting the poems he had memorized as a student and had taught to Richard as a child. In 2013, the poet feared his father's ashes had been lost in the flood water that ravaged Alberta—a crisis that would become the inciting event and central theme of this collection. Combining elements of memoir, elegy, lyrical essay and personal correspondence with appreciations of literary works ranging from haiku to comic books, Richard Harrison has written a book of great intellectual depth that is as generous as it is enchanting.


Richard Harrison is the author of seven books of poetry, among them, Governor-General's Award-nominated Big Breath of a Wish, poems on his daughter's acquisition of language, and Hero of the Play, the first book of poetry launched at the Hockey Hall of Fame. His poetry has been translated into French, Spanish, Portuguese and Arabic. He teaches creative writing at Calgary's Mount Royal University where he also lectures on the graphic novel.