Monstrance bears witness to the possibility of hope and faith in an uncertain world. These poems unflinchingly acknowledge the devastation of fear and hostility, but they also marvel when â€ślight bounces off the breakfast plates,â€ť or â€śthe sewing-machine-stitch spoor of a pocket mouse appearsâ€ť in the snow. Sarah Klassen looks past the particularities of the ordinary and reaches for the sacred.
"These are carefully written poems....Klassen always impresses with her intelligence as well as her search for understanding."
"Klassen has the ability to move from a simple observation...to wide-ranging considerations...[her] emotions...condense powerfully in a clear image."
-- Winnipeg Free Press
"... the delight of Montrance is Klassenâ€™s radiant, assured voice, both for its remarkable immediacy and for the poetâ€™s ability to make faith and inner realities relevant in ways that are neither sentimental nor superficial."
Monstrance is Sarah Klassenâ€™s best book to date. Thereâ€™s a lot of spiritual resonance here, but itâ€™s not abstract: itâ€™s rooted in a keen sense of the world we live in. The long, rhythmically sophisticated lines have both an intellectual pressure and an emotional weight that illuminates the complex relationships Klassen explores between the familiarities of our prairie experience, and parts of the larger world she has traveled to and recorded with deep sympathy and attention. The subject matter, the range of attention, is ambitious, but carefully honed to a focus that sustains itself page after page.
-George Amabile, author of Dancing, with Mirrors
Born in Winnipeg, Sarah Klassen grew up surrounded by trees, birdsong, silence and snowstorms of Manitoba's boreal forest. She left to become a teacher and a traveller. An accomplished poet and fiction writer, she has won the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, the High Plains Award for Fiction, the Canadian Authors Association Award for Poetry, and the National Magazine Gold Award for Poetry. Her work has been nominated for the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award, the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction, and the Aqua Lansdowne Prize for Poetry. Klassen lives in Winnipeg.