Never Mind

Turnstone Books, 2016

In Never Mind, Katherine Lawrence constructs a centuries-old immigrant tale that is fiercely feminist, surprisingly modern and darkly funny. The voice in these exquisite poems is a 19th century woman who straddles both old and new worlds as she navigates her own interior landscape. Observations are wry, intimate, and shot with musicality. 

This muscular collection pays tribute to the long poem while extending the tradition with fragments from letters, diary entries, sketches, dialogue, and an ongoing communion with the natural world. Each poem cycles to the next; each is an echo of the past and a call to the future. Imagination is the final shelter.

“Who knocks?” asks Wife in Never Mind. “Maple leaves reddened with gossip — Come in.”

Selected Praise for Never Mind

 Comments from 2015 John V. Hicks Long Manuscript Award (1st Place)

The language of this manuscript is a surprise. And good care has been given to the poems’ lines and syntax. These poems often culminate, combust, when meaning meets its form in ways that are lively and unexpected. The poems also have good and engaging emotional clout. The language found in these poems is both tender and full of verve. The eye/ear of the poet is unwavering in their attention to what each poem needs. There’s also a good sense of cohesiveness to these poems, they effortlessly expand, easily taking and making the shape of manuscript.
— Sue Goyette, poet
The poems in Never Mind create a vivid portrait of the artist with lyrical and musical intensity. The electrifying language opens the doors of perception in our mind and will allow you to see your own life from every angle
— Ian LeTourneau, poet

Judges comments from City of Regina Writing Award, 2014 (1st Place)

Never Mind is a series of linked narrative lyrical poems. They are set in the 19th century and told from the point of view of a Canadian settler named “Wife.” The poems are full of jagged edges and leaps; the syntax is disjointed but solid in its grasp of experience, metaphor and cadence. These poems stand out for their language and their variety in lineation to create mood and setting; they alter the experience from one moment to the next for the characters and the reader. It is an ambitious project and I wish the best of luck in continuing it.
— Yvonne Blomer