By Christopher Levenson

Categories: Poetry
Imprint: Caitlin Press
Paperback : 9781773861272, 96 pages, October 2023

Award-winning poet Christopher Levenson returns with his fourteenth collection Moorings, a profound exploration of ageing, loss and friendship.


Moorings, the fourteenth collection from award-winning poet Christopher Levenson, is a profound meditation on loss and aging. “It is an intricate business, growing old,” posits the speaker in the titular poem. “Though I once had a photographic memory,” the poet reminisces, “those negatives are lost, and will not develop.” Time and old age make room for loss, but so does greed—“with time language disintegrates… lost to dementia … speech taken over by corporate empires, unique ways of feeling lost.…” Moving from memories of childhood and artistic tributes to frustrated critiques of capitalism balanced with doses of lighthearted wordplay, these poems celebrate the colour of life, yet are wary of the darkness that can be found inside and around us. Pulling from a wide range of experience and memories but always anchored in the particular and the familiar, the poems in Moorings confront aging and death head-on, while also celebrating the spiritual sustenance of friendship and memories in our steadily changing world. 


"A dark trail of memory; Christopher Levenson’s insightful eye reaches back to a history confined nearly now only to pages. All through Moorings, the verses deliver a vivid vision to revive the decades,'Those who have never set foot in the past would not understand... how the fairground music and screams will never stop, how the ghost trains still run on time.' The sense of these poems compel toward the universal; the perspective powers granted by a great span of years; an insight that vast introspection brings."

—Dennis E. Bolen, author of Black Liquor

"In Moorings, Levenson skillfully pinpoints what holds fast for the poet in a world that continues to speed up: memories, art, places, and the ever-present sea. However, he also recognizes that eventually everything slips away; those that remain on the dock become 'mere bystanders, tiny figures / waving farewell.' Levenson’s poetry is crisp and clean—a welcome addition to the Canadian canon."

—Al Rempel, author of Undiscovered Country and This Isn’t the Apocalypse We Hoped For

"Christopher Levenson is not only a master of the quotidian, able to find and sing the telling moments most of us overlook, but also has a fine ear and the gift of metaphor. Consider his fellow elders at a concert, for whom each piece of classical music is an ‘amphora’ full of memories in which, briefly, ‘age calls a truce’; and where even the poet, on leaving, finds himself released, once more, ‘into brusque November’s fugue of falling leaf.’ Subtle, too, are his studies of various famous painters. And when he praises French painter Chardin for ‘ennobling the ordinary,’ Levenson might well be describing his own work."

—Gary Geddes, author of The Ventriloquist: Poetic Narratives from the Womb of War and The Oysters I Bring to Banquets

"I was thinking, as I read Moorings, a beautifully-designed book with smaller proportions and a waxy blast of rusted colour on the cover, that it isn’t the content that draws me to Levenson’s work per se but his obvious ear. Not that, as the by-line states, this isn’t a “profound exploration of aging, loss and friendship” but what makes his poems work beyond this perhaps-typified subject matter is the lyrical motions of his lines on the page. Levenson’s attention to “twisted history,” alternative narratives, as with the poem on the failed invasion of Iceland, and the loss of trust in the land featured in poems like Infrastructure and Erosion work towards essential poignancy. A taut and stirring collection ... a necessary and crafted account of the truths of being alive."

—Catherine Owen, Marrow Reviews

"This is a lovely text that puts all the craft and experience of a lifetime on display. Tender, witty and sharply observed, these are late works that attest to this poet’s dedication to his craft and to the numinous moments when beauty and grace flare out over an otherwise dark sea. ... Highly recommended."

—Tom Sandborn, Vancouver Sun