First Woman
poems by Patricia Keeney

134 Pages
November 01, 2011
Poetry All Titles



First Woman poems by Patricia Keeney

Award-winning Canadian writer Patricia Keeney's latest collection of poetry, First Woman, continues her personal journeys inward and across the world. Lyric and political, emotionally raw and deeply human, the volume ranges from sexual love to family, from writing to confrontations with power and profound meditations on life and culture. Her ninth collection since her debut in 1988 with Swimming Alone, these new poems—as the Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko has written of her—are filled with "the fiery mystery of inspiration—a mystery 'that burns long after one closes the book."

First Woman is both personal and political. It takes personal journeys inward and across the world. It both thinks and feels, striking a broadly humanist note in a literary world of theory, a technological world of quick fixes and a political world lacking vision. First Woman, also includes some of her most popular poems from earlier volumes making it an important place to either begin one's own love affair with this unique and admired poet or to continue it. In either case, the contact will be filled with insight, intelligence and love.

First Woman

Patricia Keeney is the author of nine books of poetry and a picaresque novel entitled The Incredible Shrinking Wife. Her poetry has been translated into French (winning the Prix Jean Paris in 2003), Spanish, Bulgarian, Chinese and Hindi. Keeney has also produced an experiment in poetry and theatre called Vocal Braiding with sound poet and playwright Penn Kemp. In 2009, Les Amis de la Poésie in Bergerac published a new French translation of her work and in the same year, the South African journal, New Contrast, featured a series of her poems based on her living experience in that country. As an editor and arts critic, Keeney has written extensively in Canadian journals such as the Canadian Forum, Maclean's and Canadian Literature and continues to write regularly for publications both nationally and internationally. She is a professor of English and Creative Writing at Toronto's York University and makes her home in a 160-year old log heritage house near Lake Simcoe, north of Toronto. For additional information, visit the website at

"In First Woman, her ninth collection, Patricia Keeney is at the top of her game. Emotionally resonant, intellectually dexterous, and above all compellingly fearless, her poems engage on every level. They charge forward on powerful images that remind us of poetry's unique ability to render the world and our experience of it in ways that no other art form can."
—Eva Tihanyi, author of Truth and Other Fictions and In the Key of Red

"...Patricia Keeney writes with great beauty and quickness, and she goes after large dreams and wounds. She is what we need, what we seek for both fire and solace..."
—Bruce Powe, author of Outage: A Journey into Electric City, The Unsaid Passing and These Shadows Remain: A Fable

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