Book Launch: Lauren Carter plumbs Manitoulin ancestry and infertility in latest collection

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Thursday, 09 July 2020 

For immediate release

Turnstone Press is delighted to announce the release of a new poetic collection by Lauren Carter.  

Spanning almost two hundred years, Following Sea finds anchor in the submerged regions of the heart. With great care, Lauren Carter wades into family histories and geography, all the while charting her own territories. Carried by the ebb and flow of language, Carter’s second collection explores issues of infertility, identity, and settler migration, offering a tender examination of home. Urgent and intimate, Following Sea leads us along the shoreline of Carter’s Manitoulin memories to show us what she has carried up from the depths.

Following Sea

All I can do is peer
back: flash through microfiche,
flip through worn ledgers, my lead
tip skimming lines fine as the blue

beneath thin skin of the wrist,
searching columns of surnames
fat as sticks, hunting
for the familiar:
                       John Willson Chisholm (1823–1900),
                       wife Margaret Patterson (1824–1891)

the ones who went north, into wild
woods, onto island,
who followed the ridge
of stone, boney as a fetal 

spine, until I find
them: pressed
between pages, those sudden
cursive blooms.


I look backwards
because the future
is too hard to bear: another
bitter winter, so many
empty snares.

- from "Historian," Following Sea


Lauren Carter’s poems plumb landscapes of precarious settlement in a fluid dance of lament and praise, illuminating the histories of families who carved hope and survival out of treacherous conditions. These poems are grounded in the spare, sensuous language of contemplative attention, at once raw and graceful, quaking with loss. Here, the steadfast cling to life through bitter winters in Northern Ontario, with only slivers of fish for survival, yet, like their descendants, remain lit by the “tiny diamonds” of their dreams. Following Sea speaks to the listening heart, to those who know intimately how barren territory inspires strength that survives generations.

— Lorri Neilsen Glenn, author of Following the River: Traces of Red River Women

I think of Lauren Carter’s Following Sea as a scale that weighs the past against the future. Carter’s retrospective gaze does not dip into nostalgia or sentimentality; neither does it romanticize cottage life or the hardship of settlers. Instead, with depth of feeling and restraint of language, she offers us a balancing act of heritage, hardship, and hope. In her words, “I look backwards / because the future / is too hard to bear.” She only looks to the past; she does not retreat into it. The past and the future pull us at each arm: “All morning // the cemetery / tugged at me, but I didn’t go.” That’s the point. Carter does not disappear into the unknowable past or the unknowable future but plants herself as a fulcrum in the now. 
—Ian Williams, Personals

Upcoming Book Launch

Thursday, February 21, 2019

7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

McNally Robinson Booksellers, 1120 Grant Avenue, Winnipeg, MB

Those who are unable to attend the McNally book launch can tune in to a live stream of the event on our Facebook page, and will have the opportunity to post questions in real-time for the Q&A session.



Lauren Carter is an ideal interview subject for stories featuring genealogy and ancestry, infertility, and settler history.

To arrange an interview with Lauren Carter, or for more information, please contact Melissa McIvor at Turnstone Press by phone, (204) 947-1556, or by email at


Turnstone Press
Founded in a Winnipeg pub in 1976 to publish chapbooks by Manitoba poets, Turnstone Press has become one of the most highly regarded book publishers in western Canada, publishing not only poetry but also fiction, literary criticism and non-fiction. In 1998 Turnstone Press launched Ravenstone Books, an imprint dedicated to mysteries, thrillers, and noir fiction. Turnstone Press is committed to our literary and cultural role in Manitoba and Canada and our mandate reflects this. We publish only Canadian authors or landed immigrants, we strive to publish a significant number of new writers, to publish in a variety of genres, and to publish 50 per cent Manitoba writers and/or books with Manitoba content.

For more information please contact:
Melissa McIvor
Marketing & Editorial Assistant
204-947-1555 l 204-947-1556

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