Poems that mine Newfoundland’s culture

The Grey Islands
by John Steffler
$20.00, paperback, 203 pp.
Brick Books Classics 2,  February 2015

The Grey Islands-John StefflerBrick Books celebrated its ruby anniversary with a classic edition of former Parliamentary Poet Laureate John Steffler’s masterpiece, The Grey Islands, featuring a new introduction by Adrian Fowler.

Despite being a mainlander, Steffler captures the spirit and ruggedness of the place like an islander.

Toronto’s Steffler writes, “the ground is solid rock. the clouds are solid rock./ the trees are solid rock. the snow is solid rock./ the sea is solid rock. the sun is solid rock”.

A place known world-round as The Rock, Steffler’s in-depth mining of Newfoundland’s unique culture and heritage is both truthful and fabricated, a tightrope of myth and memory. He toys with Newfoundland’s lyrical dialect, and embodies the windswept coastal weather and isolation.

Steffler understood Newfoundland, its ruggedness, wildness, and untameable landscape. At the very core of  The Grey Islands  isn’t cartography of its geography, but a portrait of its people, who are as rare and remarkable as the island where they dwell.

The Grey Islands
by John Steffler
$20.00, paperback, 203 pp.
Brick Books Classics 2,  February 2015

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Written By

Shannon Webb-Campbell is a mixed Indigenous (Mi’kmaq) settler poet, writer, and critic. Her books include: Still No Word (Breakwater 2015), the recipient of Eagle Canada’s Out in Print Award, and I Am A Body of Land (Book*hug 2018). Shannon holds a MFA in Creative Writing from University of British Columbia, and is currently completing a MA in English Literature at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador. She is the editor of Visual Arts News Magazine, and currently lives in Montreal.

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