This Report is Strictly Confidential

By Elizabeth Ruth

Categories: Poetry, LGBTQ+
Imprint: Dagger Editions
Paperback : 9781773861425, September 2024
Expected to ship: 2024-09-27

Part exposé, part memoir, all heart—critically-acclaimed novelist Elizabeth Ruth’s poetry debut is an act of love and commemoration, inspired by real life events that have left a lasting imprint on generations of family.


Presented in four linked sections, this debut poetry collection from award winning writer Elizabeth Ruth offers readers rare glimpses into private worlds, revealing the life of the author’s aunt who lived for decades in a notorious government-run residential hospital, exploring the experience of critical illness, and addressing the biological father Elizabeth Ruth has never met. With fresh, inventive use of language, biting irony and an unflinching gaze upon the human condition, these intimate poems give voice to the things that can’t be said. This Report Is Strictly Confidential is an act of literary alchemy that carries all kinds of secrets out of the shadows and into the light, thereby transforming ugliness into beauty.


“rather than writing about folx as outside normal Elizabeth Ruth gathers & centres them \ understands differences as iridescent jewels & gaudy crowns \ her poems repeatedly ask the reader to consider what it is not to belong \ they establish a path acknowledging that a lifetime trying to be herself requires that we share language & build stories directed by Amelia Earhart arms \ her poems resist normative attempts at cure & treatment moving the reader to remember : our best measure is compassion”

—nancy viva davis halifax, author of act normal, associate professor in critical disability studies in the Faculty of Health at York University

“I am greatly impressed with Elizabeth’s care and tenderness, her generosity, the sheer tenacity and, overall, the skill of her work in presenting this personal and social history.”

—Maureen Hynes, author of Take the Compass

“Presented in four parts, This Report Is Strictly Confidential sets fire to what’s been hidden and blazes with beauty and cutting truths. Brimming with grace, acuteness and musical precision, these poems are both intimate and exact, and ‘like gold, weigh more than water.’ Dedicated to the memory of Ruth’s aunt—who spent thirty years in an institution—this debut collection honours, reveals, nourishes and sustains.”

—Catherine Graham, author of Put Flowers Around Us and Pretend We’re Dead: New and Selected Poems (Wolsak and Wynn/Buckrider Books)