Richard Harrison’s On Not Losing My Father’s Ashes in the Flood, recently shortlisted for a Governor General’s Award, won the 2017 Stephan G. Stephansson Book Prize for Poetry, and an Alcuin Society Prize for Book Design. It was also shortlisted for the City of Calgary Book Prize and is currently a finalist for Montana’s High Plains Poetry Prize. His previous books include the Governor General’s Award finalist Big Breath of a Wish, and Hero of the Play, the first book of poetry launched at the Hockey Hall of Fame. Richard teaches English and Creative Writing at Mount Royal University.
On Not Losing My Father’s Ashes in the Flood
In On Not Losing My Father’s Ashes in the Flood, Richard Harrison reflects on his father’s death, the Alberta Flood and what poetry offers a life lived around it. In his final years, Harrison’s father suffered from a form of dementia, but he died without ever forgetting the poems he had memorized as a student and taught his son. The fear that his father’s ashes had been lost in the flood water that ravaged Alberta in 2013 becomes 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.