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The Seventh Town of Ghosts: Poems

CBC Poetry Prize finalist and National Magazine Award honoree Faith Arkorful’s breathtaking, surpassingly thoughtful debut collection of poems. Hauntings form the canopy of The Seventh Town of Ghosts. These titular towns, centred in yesterdays, tomorrows, and the ongoing, lead to a special kind of singing: songs to the reader who wrestles with existence, the unsure peace within family, and the often-tense interdependence of life. Here, discernment is ever-present, guided by Faith Arkorful’s insights on not only the ravages of the state and the police upon the Black family and life at large, but also on a kaleidoscope of connections—sisterhood, daughterhood, kinship, solitude, death, romance—and how tenderness, chosen and repeated, can shield against life’s blows. These towns also enchant, shape-lifting through humour, irony, and the small refractions of language where Arkorful guides us through the fault lines and the undertow, in the form of fruit, island volcanoes, Formula 1, and the expansive hum of life. This poet-as-sojourner bears careful, caring witness, her attention reserved not only for her living and her dead but hyphenated two-fold by the fragile things and the lasting things. These poems remind us of what contours our mysterious and fleeting presence on Earth.

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