by Jacqueline Turner

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“Smart, clear-eyed… Turner’s gift is for beautiful concision.” — Georgia Straight on The Ends of the Earth

Jacqueline Turner’s Flourish moves between philosophy, literary criticism, biography, and poetry. Both personal and experimental, her writing becomes transformative as it explores memories of growing up in a small town, parenting a set of adventurous sons, traveling, and reading. At times her poems act like micro essays, at other times they are miniature memoirs or precise manifestos, and throughout the collection’s exploration of contemporary cities and culture, a tense beauty emerges.

Turner takes readers to a park in Berlin set up like a messy living room, to a gallery in Granada where the view from a window beside a famous painting more perfectly frames an ancient stone wall, and to a karaoke room in Tokyo where comedic possibilities merge with spilled drinks. In the end, Flourish celebrates the abundance of words already read, while conveying gratitude for the ones still about to be read. A bold gesture, a green light, a way forward in challenging times.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781773053943
Publisher: ECW Press
Publication date: 09/17/2019
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 128
File size: 541 KB

About the Author

Jacqueline Turner is the author of The Ends of the Earth (ECW Press 2013). She is a Lecturer at Emily Carr University of Art + Design and has held writing residencies in Brisbane, Tasmania, Granada, and Berlin. Her work is published widely in Canada and internationally. She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Read an Excerpt

“Avoid the Flourish” — Leonard Cohen, “How to Speak Poetry”


it was meant to be simple

we loved it and it was simple

a plain pine box as

hearts broke to cries of hallelujah


it was meant to be


it was meant

to be

it was



it had meaning

the people agree

as they post versions of Hallelujahs

as others post telling them

they are posting the wrong



a fight broke out

about who Famous Blue Raincoat

meant more to

nostalgia for a lost love

or whisper singing in bed

as a sign of contemporary intimacy

who soothes your insomnia at ‘4 in the morning/end of December’?


it was a gravel voice, a gravelly voice

it was profound and it sang out to the hills

it was always a hymn, it was always an anthem

it went ‘a thousand kisses deep’ or it broke open

‘the crack to let the light in’


it was many things

to many people

it was always a dance, always a poem

always thinly veiled fiction

it was beautiful and it was loser-ish

it was mine more than yours

yours more than mine


it was trouble for a troubled time

it was humility in the crease of greatness

it was always an epic, an ode

it made you cry every time

it unleashed you, untethered

it made you freer, it let you off

your flight, light, bright

it was always surrender

it was always trying to figure you out

it was always helping you, giving you courage

it was fragments and pieces, it was notions

it was always deep understanding

it was eventually


it was soft and you loved it

it was always from a distance

it was always ‘you look good when you’re tired’

always ‘you look like you could go on forever.’

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