Rhona McAdam's sixth collection of poems, Ex-ville, reflects upon what we leave behind: the people, places and journeys that shape our lives. We peer through many doorways in this suburb of the imagination. The poet's move back to Canada from her home in England unfolds in a bittersweet series of poems that probe the meaning of departure and arrival. The ambivalent pleasures of travel in an anxious but beautiful world lead us eloquently astray in many countries, longing for home in each new bed, / worrying the nests of strangers. The poles of life from first to second childhoods are explored with deft wisdom and technical skill, whether fingering the keys of failed pia lessons or taking the wheel when old age leads parents into dementia and institutionalization. There is sadness and wisdom in these poems, as well as joy, love and passion. Ex-ville is a book to welcome and celebrate, and then return to, often.
Rhona McAdam is a poet and food writer who has lived in BC, Alberta, and England, and spent a year studying food in Italy. Ex-ville (Oolichan) is her sixth full-length poetry collection. Her publications include food poetry chapbooks: Sunday Dinners (JackPine, 2010) and The Earth's Kitchen (Leaf, 2011); anthologies: Poems From Planet Earth (Mothertongue, 2013), Untying the Apron (Guernica, 2013), Force Field: 77 Women Poets of BC (Mothertongue, 2013) Rocksalt (Mothertongue, 2008); and previous collections Old Habits (Thistledown/Slow Dancer) and Cartography (Oolichan). Her first book of nonfiction, Digging the City: An Urban Agriculture Manifesto (RMB) was published in 2012.