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  • Paperback
  • 91 pages
  • A Grain of Rice
  • Evelyn Lau
  • English
  • 05 August 2014
  • 9780889822863

10 thoughts on “A Grain of Rice

  1. Amanda Amanda says:

    a fine example of making use of all the senses


  2. Vanessa Vanessa says:

    This was the first book I read of Evelyn Lau and what a great place to start I won the book through the First Read giveaways and am so thankful for getting Thank you Oolichan Press for giving me the opportunity for such a day of contemplative pleasure Lau's A Grain of Rice is a collection of many separate poems exploring different themes but I found it to be one long contemplation on mortality She captures it's fragility so well One of my favourites a shout out to John Updike is Thinking of Updike These are the lines part way through that stood out Even this one life said to be over in a day holds space that stretches to the horizon Abundance then a harvest of loss — berries in a bowl plucked from an orchard sagging with fruit then fires sweeping across the sky above Kelowna She captures place and all the emotions experiencing it with a delicate brevity that slices through to truth like a knife A thoroughly enjoyable escape into a book while being in the world


  3. Andrea Andrea says:

    Evelyn's sixth poetry collection is an inspiration for living The recognition of the soul's journey on life's path Precise and exuisite language There is a deep and beautiful humility that lies in the shadows of each of the poems in the collection


  4. K K says:

    My personal view on poetry used to be The less I understand and the pretentious it is the better it must be This book totally changed my mind on the subject Lau's elegant vivid deceptively simple writing creates a complex life on a single page


  5. Leanna Greenway Leanna Greenway says:

    An excellent way to start off a new year


  6. Odessa Odessa says:

    Re read before catching up with the author's latest Tumour


  7. April Sanders April Sanders says:

    I have been re reading poetry by Evelyn Lau Have you ever heard of her? She lived on the Vancouver streets since age 14 homeless bulimic a prostitute to fuel her drug use Her traditional immigrant Chinese family wanted her to be a doctor and rejected her creativity She was victimized at school for her race and oddness so she ran away Her family disowned her They never reconciled At 18 she published Runaway Diary of a Street Kid to critical acclaim It is a frank and gritty account of the life she led and very shocking but excellentShe had a long association with Child Services and somehow probably due to her creativity she survived all of this Of interest she later had a long term affair with WP Kinsella Field of Dreams Shoeless Joe Smoke Signals who was 30 years her senior and a professor at UVictoria BC Canada She is now 44 yrs and has been working in the Creative Writing department at SFU and sporadically publishing She has since done mostly poetry and I have all her stuff Anyway there are a couple of her poems I thought that I would share with you Her honesty in dealing with her eating disorder is commendable A Grain of Rice as is her adult ability to discuss the sad collision of her adult life experiences with her former life on the street The #4 Bus and her alienation from her family and her culture Frozen I would reccommend her highly


  8. Gerry LaFemina Gerry LaFemina says:

    Divided in four sections Evelyn Lau's latest collection presents us the poet at middle age She is keenly aware of both the positive energies of love and creativity but the shadow of death seem everywhere an entire section devoted to Updike the lost parents the past lovers No longer the runaway adolescent this book presents a poet near the top of her game


  9. CanadianBookOwl CanadianBookOwl says:

    some of the poems I loved and others I couldn't get into as much but a great writer for sure


  10. mwpm mwpm says:

    Today on the seawall the wind sprayingmy clothes with stars of salt the oceanboiling to a cream froth around blue rocksI remember that a man drowned in English Bayswimming off one of the rusty freightersstriking out for this golden shore what a paradise this must have seemed to himour soft sloping mountains and clean wide sidewalksa dream of heaven he reached for and reached foruntil the freezing waters swept his body ashore Fortune pg 11 In Summerland the hours of silence are longEven this one life said to be over in a dayholds space that stretches to the horizonAbundance then a harvest of loss berries in a bowl plucked from an orchardsagging with fruit then the firessweeping across the sky above KelownaEach summer perhaps the last yet I can'tlove the world any than thisThe view from a bridge a thousand windowsshining in the salty sunThe wind in the trees a tangle of sweet water;silver sage and burnt lavenderto scent our sleep The bitter cream of almondsSomeday I will stand on the lawnof the hospice where you diedthe cemetery where your ashes were scatteredSomeday I will make that pilgrimagelike a stranger who loved you Let my eyeshold the last thing your eyes heldin their vision mottled wall or crumbled carperthe beauty of it all rushing in too late Thinking of Updike pg 50 Again we found ourselves at the shorelineamong shards of shell and plasticscrim of seaweed trapping my feet like a netRed freighters and the grey Onley mist of the islandsThe seashell gleam of sun on water herringbone skyI was thinking of a movie where a man was drowningin the middle of the ocean huge swells soaringall around him like dunes in a desert and how I'd once said That's what it feels like grief years ago before anyone had even diedWho knew how wide the ocean would gethow high those waves would climbThen I went into the water into that marine worldof kelp and plankton The green that bathed my legshad travelled for miles to reach this bayA noose of cloud hung on the gold horizonSpores sand in the gritty air No one I loved was there English Bay pg 73


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A Grain of Rice Evelyn Lau's new book of poems A Grain of Rice picks up on some of the themes she covered in her last wonderful book Living Under Plastic Once again she honours people in particular family and the past; the presence and importance of nature in urban spaces; the influence of other writers on her life and in her career as a writer A Grain of Rice includes a passionate suite of poems that pay tribute to John Updike's life and work he is the writer who has most influenced her writing career Many of the poems in A Grain of Rice her sixth book of poetry are haunted by the deaths of friends and family They explore cultural history stories in the news travel and places especially the relationship between home and our nomadic inclinations In many respects the book is a meditation on loss Grief and aging family history an attention to place poems on local urban social issues; poems that seek and find their inspiration in Asian culture and literature all form a tapestry of faces that simultaneously defy and embrace the inevitable and celebrate the transformational


About the Author: Evelyn Lau

Lau was born July 2 1971 in Vancouver British Columbia to Chinese Canadian parents who intended for her to eventually become a doctor Her parents' ambitions for her were wholly irreconcilable with her own; conseuently her home and school lives were desperately unhappy In 1986 she ran away from her unbearable existence as a pariah in school and tyrannized daughter at homeEvelyn Lau began pu