Toronto, Ontario

The Word On The Street

Saturday, September 26, 2020

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Sunday, September 27, 2020

| 10am - 5pm

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Celebrate more than 150 years of Canada with 150 books.

Paul Vermeersch Recommends

Out of the Violent Dark by Gladys Downes

Out of the Violent Dark by Gladys Downes

So, as you'll notice, there really was no description online for Out of the Violent Dark that we could find. While this has been grounds for moving on to the next CanLit150 pick for previous authors (we ask for three suggestions from each author to avoid this exact situation), it seems ungrateful to not give due recognition to the length of time and effort it took Paul to even lay a hand on this book.

Out of the Violent Dark is an especially elusive collection of poetry, one that has been out of print for many years. Ms. Downes has little trace online and, as far as we could discover, no traditional bio or book description available. There was only one major mention of the book, and one photo of the book cover (included here), both of which were provided by Paul on his website in 2013. We won't go too far into the details here as it makes more sense for you to visit his website and read the story for yourself, but what we'd like to do here is just thank Paul for suggesting the book and telling a story about how a single poem can send a person down a rabbit hole of reading, writing, and literature for the rest of their life.

For more information on the collection, please read Paul Vermeersch's blog post on his 25-year search for just one of Ms. Downes' poems.

There is also one copy of Out of the Violent Dark available at the Toronto Public Reference Library if you want to take a peek.