Brightness Into Brightness: Thammavongsa’s Light wins the CBC Bookie




A new volume of poetry, Light, by the award-winning Canadian poet Souvankham Thammavongsa, was published in September 2013 by Pedlar Press, with Catharine Nicholson’s picture ‘The Viable’ as the design for the front cover. Light contains forty-two poems, just as ‘The Viable’ shows forty-two acorns.

Souvankham Thammavongsa’s glorious new collection has won the 2013 CBC Bookie.

“Each Souvankham Thammavongsa poem feels like an event, which makes a new collection akin to a small riot. In Light, she does what only very good poets do: sees the things others miss. This is the work of a poet at the top of her game.”  — Kevin Connolly
“Thammavongsa’s range is impressive, and much of the book’s power lies in its ability to shift gears entirely, moving between spacious meditations that find words sprinkled like ashes across the page (“A volcano / is / what happens / when you try / to take / the sun down / from where it is”) to moments of concrete and visceral experience, as in the unforgettable At the Farm: “I heard a gunshot by the barn and thought nothing of it / We were at a farm / I saw a cow come charging forward with its head half gone.” This new collection confirms Thammavongsa’s place as one of the most interesting younger poets at work in the country.”  – Jared Bland
The publisher of Pedlar Press, Beth Follett, gives a full account of the Thammavongsa-Nicholson connection:

*For more information about Catharine Nicholson, acclaimed botany artist, visit:



One Reply to “Brightness Into Brightness: Thammavongsa’s Light wins the CBC Bookie”

  1. My happiness for Souvankham is so deep. I feel like showering her with flowers and fruit baskets. Silly, isn’t it. Because I’ve always felt like showering her with flowers; for ten years. I don’t need anyone else to confirm for me what I’ve known from the start: she is one of the most interesting poets in the English-speaking world. But in this Way that is now opening, I’d like to find for her a few more devotees.

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