Falling Backwards Into Mirrors is a book that merges poetry and memoir. At the same time, it is a collection grounded in the body, naked and spare, wounded and wonderful. Through vivid, sensual images that evoke feeling, the speaker embraces the naked architecture of her own flesh and bones. In moments of give and take, this healing journey echoes the kind of deep explorations once undertaken by Adrienne Rich and Sylvia Plath. After a fall from a boat, water, distortions of light, and the blur of close reflection inspire the speaker to question the consistency of her own surface. She is hamstrung, literally and figuratively. She can’t stand unsupported. She can’t walk. She can’t sit. While supine for long stretches of time, her mirror becomes a vehicle for metaphor, for seeing, for reflecting, and refracting. Falling Backwards into Mirrors begins with a sudden trauma and moves forward as the surface of the speaker’s skin becomes like vellum, and landscape and love, family and community are grafted to hope.
“In Falling Backwards into Mirrors, Calgary novelist Anne Sorbie shows considerable gifts as a storyteller and poet in an exceptionally mature first book of poetry. Hers is a lyrical and compelling narrative of trauma, dissolution, discovery, and recovery – guided always by hope. During a near-fatal fall while docking a boat, Sorbie, a former long distance runner, suffers a catastrophic leg injury. She reminds us with great brevity and clarity how close to the brink we actually live. We may fall, Sorbie suggests, but what we treasure, and how we get up, is ultimately what counts. We soar with her in this passionate and observant debut.”
—Bruce Hunter, author of Two O’Clock Creek: Poems New and Selected
“In Falling Backwards into Mirrors, Anne Sorbie makes love to the archeology of pain and damage. This wonderful exploration of movement poetics takes the reader into the secrets between covers: the covers of books, the cover of skin, the cover of darkness, the cover of an injury and a healing. These poems are full of the joy discoverable in mortality and humanity.”
—Aritha van Herk, writer
“When you’re cut by the shards of life it takes more than a bandage to become whole again. In this well-crafted collection, Anne Sorbie captures the essence and tenor of falling and what it means to learn from the healing process. I found the curve and metaphors of this writing captivating, compelling, and compassionate.”
—Sheri-D Wilson, Poet Laureate of Calgary