In Never Mind, Katherine Lawrence constructs a centuries-old immigrant tale that is fiercely feminist, surprisingly modern and darkly funny. The voice in these exquisite poems is a 19th century woman who straddles both old and new worlds as she navigates her own interior landscape. Observations are wry, intimate, and shot with musicality.
This muscular collection pays tribute to the long poem while extending the tradition with fragments from letters, diary entries, sketches, dialogue, and an ongoing communion with the natural world. “Who knocks?” asks Wife in Never Mind. “Maple leaves reddened with gossip — Come in.”
Shortlisted for the Regina Public Library Book of the Year Award and the City of Saskatoon and Public Library Saskatoon Book Award.
"Lawrence finds a powerful metaphor for her grief in the longings of settler women for their homes of origin and the life and loved ones they once knew. Both her grieving process and the settler woman's experience are enlivened and uniquely realized by this mutuality of meaning." -- Bill Robertson, The StarPhoenix & The Leader-Post
Katherine Lawrence’s Never Mind is a layered, distinctive, adventurous exploration in and beyond verse form. It is mysterious and spacious. Its often mannered tone plays against an innovative form and structure. It seems set in the past but vaults into a future poetic. It is at once ethereal and concrete. Through erasure and oblique reference it invites engagement and speculation. It makes you mind.
--Steven Ross Smith author of Emanations: Fluttertongue 6
In Never Mind, Katherine Lawrence taps into a unique and riveting voice from an imagined past. Reading these taut, imagistic poems, I am convinced that an early English settler is speaking directly to me from the dark and forested Canadian wilderness. Lyricism and beauty, loss and awe, horror and grief – these poems comprise an unflinching portrait of a woman (and artist) who spends a lifetime asking herself: “What brought me here?”
--Patricia Young, author of Night-Eater and An Auto-erotic History of Swings
New star in the longpoem sky, Never Mind by Katherine Lawrence gets cunning on page 5 and stays that way, throwing open the shutters of self, family, history, nation. Its language settles toward, while reaching free of, a narrative we expect but have not seen quite this way. Its open forms give but don’t give in. We’ll be grateful for this book.
--Gerald Hill, author of Hillsdale Book, NeWest Press, 2015
Never Mind is Katherine Lawrence’s third collection of poetry. The manuscript won the 2015 John V. Hicks Long Manuscript Award and the 2014 City of Regina Writing Award. Her previous collections have been equally honoured. Originally from Hamilton, Ontario, Katherine chairs Access Copyright Foundation, and is a former president of the Sage Hill Writing Experience board of directors. She moved to Saskatchewan in 1982 and currently lives in Saskatoon with her husband.