Poems and Other Writings

speak now

speak now into the metal mesh

jiggle the puzzle till the parts fall

to the floor, drag the presidents

out for a share of the pain, roll

the dice and scoop the children

out of their sandy shoreline

graves, every era sails

the coffin ships, how many can

the fiberglass boats hold before they

crack in two, mercy is failing,

the GPS is failing, speak now

-- From Sotto Voce, Brick Books 2019.


Mark Rothko
Untitled, 1952
Tempera on paper
101.9 x 68.7 cm
Collection Christopher Rothko

These are the elements that have sung me
through my life. A bar of blue, a bar of green, a field
of terracotta; two ochre squares and three red
brushstrokes, all on a surround of indigo. Template,

for example, for my childhood drawings – sky and
garden, roof and two windows on a house.
Roundness not yet necessary, no people yet,
no ponies or cats or turtles. Just something standing,

smudged and breathing. These were the shapes and colours
unfolding below me as my flight landed
in this country: ocean and mountain, reservoir and orchard,
a shopping mall and a drive-in. And closer still,

from my window tonight, the ultramarine sky
over the burnt grass meadow, a derelict house
with two waiting windows, the vineyards
beyond. But always, I reach out to touch

the two ochre columns, their edges blurring.
Maybe they are work and love, and they support
the dark blue dreaming, sometimes peaceful,
sometimes quickened by the three red lines.

(published in The Fiddlehead, No. 252, Summer 2012, and included in The Poison Colour, Pedlar Press, 2015.)

*   *   * Recent work available online *   *  *

Maureen's poem, "Bus Ticket and Window Seat" read (three times!) for Jason Coomb's new Canadian poetry podcast series, "Eh Poetry" series: https://anchor.fm/ehpoetrypodcast/episodes/Bus-Ticket--Window-Seat-by-Maureen-Hynes-e1k8puv

On the "Open Book" website by The Ontario Book Publishers Organization:  An interview with Maureen about her writing practice:  On the Allure of the Ordinary and Wrestling Poetry into Coherence and Beauty.

From the Brick Books website:  sample poems from Sotto Voce. 

Title poem, "Sotto Voce" and "amethyst aubade" published in Southword: New Writing from Ireland,  Issue 33: January, 2018.

Poem, "Motherspeak," in La Presa, Issue 6, Fall 2018.

Poem, "Twenty Naked Selves" (in English and translated into Spanish) in Issues 6 and 7 of La Presa, from Embajadoras Press: a literary journal of poetry and short fiction, articles, essays, and other prose genres, in English and Spanish, by writers from Mexico, Canada, and the USA.

Poem, "693 Cemetery Road," published online by the League of Canadian Poets' "Poetry Pause," July 2019 and a discussion about this poem in The Puritan

Poem, "Newborn” in Juniper,  Volume 2, Issue 2, 2018.

Maureen's poem, "The Last Cigarette,"  selected for The Best of the Best Canadian Poetry 2017  an anthology of 90 poems selected from the last 9 volumes of the Best Canadian Poetry in English -- "poems that have excelled twice"by being included in these anthologies. 

Maureen's poem, "Staying Away from the Grand," is published in the online journalPlenitude 

* * * Other writing * * *

Vivek Shraya interviews Maureen and Trish Yeo about editing, and "the art of giving feedback."  

Maureen interviews Kim Trainor about her magnificent 2015 book of poetry from Brick Books, Karyotype.

Maureen Hynes presents Lynn Davies's poetry.

Gerry Shikatani posts Maureen's poem, "On Reading Lorca's Poet in New York" on his website about the Lorca's Granada workshop. Maureen participated in Gerry's workshop in Granada,  Spain in 2012. http://www.gerryshikatani.com/#/the-latest/4593438326 

Interview with Maureen, 2011, in Poets in Profile, Open Book Toronto.

Blog entry on political poetry for Best Canadian Poetry 2010, "The Level Gaze": http://www.bestcanadianpoetry.com/2010/12/political-poetry-level-gaze.html

In a special feature, Maureen interviews Carole Glasser Langille about her poetry book, Church of the Exquisite Panic:  The Ophelia Poemshttp://www.openbooktoronto.com/news/

Poem, "Shredding" in Contemporary Verse 2 

Maureen reads at a Mayworks Poetry Marathon.

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