New from Demeter Press: birth of the uncool

Demeter Press, based in Toronto, has published books on motherhood since 2006. Their catalogue includes fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and many ground-breaking scholarly works. Due to recent loss of grant funding, however, Demeter is at risk of closing. They need support — through books sales — to continue their engaging and important work.

birth of the uncool, published by Demeter in 2014, is a stunning collection of poetry by Canadian writer Madeline Walker. Based on Walker’s lifelong quest to be “elegant, distant, hip, and stylish,” the book explores her embrace of uncool in her fiftieth year. The following is from her chapter on motherhood (reprinted with permission).


birthuncoolI know the gene bequeathed
is not my fault.
I ask forgiveness anyway.

Scientists announced
they’d almost isolated the little fucker in their
slick white labs. If only I could
have swiped out that gene,
surreptitiously, from the soup
that made you, spliced in
something else — and extra love gene

But then, what loss? What might
we have missed? Your smoky
intensity, blue depths, brooding
passions? Your courage to climb out of the
tar pit? The wisdom that comes of suffering?

Demeter’s books are 50% off until July 15. See their catalogue or Facebook page for more information.

A Day in My Life: Sheila Morrison

Woke up at 6:15 (unusual for me) astonished at how brilliant the sun was shining at such an hour. Have I been missing something? Must be nice at the cottage.

Stretched my cranky knee and deforming toes while listening to CBC. Answered the phone—my daughter downstairs confirmed she will go to the dreaded ECT appointment at 7:15, having adamantly refused the night before.

Get washed, dressed and go downstairs to find she has already practiced piano, lifted weights and ridden her exercise bike.

In the car by 6:45 before she says no again and wonder if I can stretch the 15 minute drive into 30 minutes. I do.

Deliver her to the nurses and head home, wishing I was at the cottage.

Tend to sick dog; his eye is gummed shut again and I gently squeeze wet cotton pads into his eye to coax it open.

Call the vet, get appointment for 3:15. Wish I were at our new cottage.

Call hubby to see if he enjoyed his morning walk. Wish I was there.

Back to the hospital; daughter is ready to go, ready for her reward, a treat breakfast. Hard to get a decision out of her on where to go but I exercise patience. “Just drive around and see what’s open.” Not what I want to do. At the Esquire she has a chocolate milkshake, replete with whip cream and cherry, and strawberry pancakes while I tease my caffeine urges with a decaf.

Home and back to dripping water into the dog’s eye. Walk the dog. Throw in the laundry. Wonder if I’ll get to the cottage.

Brush the dog. Email. Wash yesterday’s dishes. Sweep. Chat with daughter. Pile up a few things to take to the cottage. Heat up the rest of the left over pancakes for daughter. Walk the dog. Print off friend’s manuscript to read at the cottage. Grab a sandwich. Tuck daughter in for a nap. Throw clothes in dryer.

Make a list of writing projects roaming around in my head. Collect some info for one to write at the cottage. Take the dog to the vet. It’s 4:00 pm.

Still time to get to the cottage and catch a few rays. Feel like I have accomplished nothing.