One Building in the Earth
New and Selected Poems
With generous selections from earlier, critically acclaimed full-length collections like Talking Prophet Blues and Eating Glass, as well as work from landmark underground chapbooks like Because the Gunman and Graffiti for JJ Harper, this collection presents, for the first time, the range and scope of Maggie Helwig’s unique and inspiring poetry. Spanning two decades, and including new and never-before collected material, One Building In The Earth presents Helwig’s thematic and poetic trajectory in ways that make her stunning political and spiritual insight a cornerstone of contemporary Canadian literature.
One Building In The Earth includes “Hunger and the Watchmen” — a celebrated poetic reconsideration of Simone Weil — in its entirety. It, like many of Helwig’s best- known works, while recently out-of-print, take on a vital new life in this collection.
Whether exploring the relationship between the city and the body, our collective longing for mercy or grace, or the possibility of our lives being cherished — despite history and war and the damage we sometimes do to one another — Maggie Helwig pushes the limits and sets new poetic standards: these are words that matter.
Maggie Helwig was born in Liverpool, England, and raised in Kingston, Ontario. She has published five previous books and three chapbooks of poetry, two books of essays, a collection of short stories, and a novel, Where She Was Standing. She manages a micropress, Lowlife Publishing, and has been a coordinator or the Toronto Small Press Fair since 1998