A Hundred Poems About Flowers – the first twenty-five by Robyn Marie Butt
ISBN: 978-0-9918552-4-7 $22.95
With her debut book of verse, A Hundred Poems About Flowers: the first twenty-five, Robyn Marie Butt turns her powerful lyric gaze on the so-called “humble” matter of flowers numerous. While flowers have real sensuous value as living things, yet hold many symbolic meanings for humans, a writer could go in plenty of directions considering them. And this is the generous tack that Butt takes. These poems are luscious in detail yet mostly delivered in a colloquial voice. They are wise and smart. They are sometimes sad and frequently witty. These are poems of a numinous spirituality.
Praise for A Hundred Poems About Flowers – the first twenty-five
“From the charming cover photograph to its last memorable line, this book of poetry is a true delight. …Each poem tells a story [that is] plain yet profoundly moving, as we see what she sees and embrace the feeling through her words. Robyn Marie Butt is a writer you will read over and over again as you find yourself cherishing the joy and wisdom of her words.” The Ontario Poetry Society
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A Hundred Poems About Flowers – the next twenty-five by Robyn Marie Butt
Boularderie Island Press
ISBN: 978-1-926448-07-7 $22.95
With The Next Twenty-five, Butt’s poems reflect two groups of flowers: common English garden blooms, and lesser known, often hidden, wildflowers increasingly endangered by corporate agriculture and suburban sprawl. Lyrical, thoughtful, and frequently witty, and infused with a numinous spirituality, her work lifts a colloquial voice honed in rural Southwestern Ontario to celebrate our human relationships with blossom.
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A Hundred Poems About Flowers – the third twenty-five by Robyn Marie Butt
ISBN: 978-1-926448-13-8 $22.95
For the third instalment of her poem-and-audio collaboration with Southwestern Ontario painters, Robyn Marie Butt looks at two flower workers from history: eighteenth-century English gentlewoman Mary Delany, originator of the art of collage; and twentieth-century British physician, healer, and mystic Edward Bach, creator of the Bach Flower Remedies. Engaged, insightful, and wryly humorous, here Butt’s poems explore the eternally rich subject of flowers through one artist’s life and one healer’s work until the poems become a form of thoughtful journeying. Butt’s surprise destination is a place where compelling resolutions appear in the little, overlooked things – things that gall us or keep us going, and turn out not to be so little at all.
Sample Robyn Marie Butt reading poems from The Next Twenty-Five below.
Seasons of Ordinary Time Robyn Marie Butt
By times compassionate, brave, and humorous, this bright and poetic collection roams from a little country girl to the urban party crowd, from rural teenagers’ drunken exploits to a Trappist monk – culminating in a connected series of longer stories about Beatrix Chambers, a young artist learning about love, aging, and most of all, about the meaning of family. The extended portraits of Bea’s stays at home, and her experiences of parents, grandparents, siblings, and cousins, are as flawless as crystal and as soothing as summer light.
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“Robyn Marie Butt’s Seasons of Ordinary Time introduces another daring voice… Butt has a gift for replicating the rhythms of speech, whether of drunkenness, the maunderings of an old man, or of a crumbling heart. And her three connected stories about a large and shifting family which makes elegant speeches but resides in innocence are nothing less than brilliant.… The intense perspicacity of these stories is a joy: Robyn Marie Butt’s writing is beautiful, alchemical, transformative.”
– University of Toronto Quarterly (UTQ)
“Lush, complex characters distinguish Robyn Marie Butt’s short fiction. Her ability to compel empathy through pellucid description, dialogue, and incident is disarming in its charm and flow… Short works foreshadow the mastery evident in a series of longer stories that detail the formation of the personality and character of a young artist, Bea Chambers. This is an optimistic and reverent vision of the individual person that is refreshingly sentimental and simply reassuring.”
– Quill & Quire
“… The best work of new fiction I have read in a long time…. Robyn Marie Butt has created a lyrical, poetic collection of stories where our familiarity with her characters and their stories is limited only by the 175 pages in the book. Even flowers, twigs and insects burst free from the pages, more real by her telling than the ones outside my window…. I’d give it a good chance in the Govern General’s lottery.”
“.. Stories are life-affirming and pulsate with joy in spite of the tragic circumstances impeding the characters… Butt’s imagery is consistently original, sharp and precise.”
– Edmonton Journal
“Painting powerful images or creating dreaming moods with her prose, Butt writes seamless and entertaining stories. Touching on themes of art, aging and dying, and family relationships, she creates a wide variety of characters… enchanting …. a delight in which Butt illustrates her keen awareness of the rhythms of language. This collection is wonderful, but the most pleasant surprise from Butt’s prose is her ability to put unnameable feelings and experiences into words that give the reader a jolt of recognition. This woman has written highly enjoyable stories that are sure to be re-read and recommended, at least until her next book is published, and probably beyond.”
– Canadian Book Review Annual
“In these stories, Robyn Marie Butt has achieved a magical synthesis of language and character, through which the particulars of ordinary time are transformed – worlds are created out of dust and a slice of sunlight.”
– John Mighton
“This is sensual, thoughtful writing, and the stories Butt tells of love and loss, self and family, life and art, remind our spirits how fabulous the familiar really is.”
– Daniel David Moses