Hymnswitch: new poems from Ali Blythe

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RRU Staff
Ali Blythe, Royal Roads communications officer

Award-winning poet and Royal Roads University Communications Officer Ali Blythe’s new collection, Hymnswitch, is an intimate exploration of identity, the body and recovery.

Published Mar. 19 by Goose Lane, Hymnswitch follows Blythe’s acclaimed 2015 debut Twoism

According to Goose Lane, “When Ali Blythe arrived with Twoism four years ago, the debut collection was praised from coast to coast for its human touch: every line shimmered with life and erotically charged glimpses of completeness. Now in Hymnswitch, Blythe takes up the themes of identity and the body once more and casts an eye backwards and forwards, visiting places of recovery and wrestling with the transition into one's own skin. Readers will find themselves holding their breath at the risk and beauty and difficulty of the balance Blythe strikes in the midst of ineffable complexity.”

Praise for Hymnswitch includes a starred review in Quill and Quire:

“With incredible economy of language and dialectical drama at the levels of sentence and caesura, Blythe delivers taut yet expansive hymns from ‘the golden-throated era / of the hormone.’”

Blythe is the winner of the Vallum Award for Poetry for “Waking in the Preceding, a finalist for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, and a finalist for the 2017 Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ Emerging Writers from the Writers Trust of Canada. He joined Royal Roads University as a communications officer in 2018.

The book launches March 23 at 7 p.m. at Munro’s Books with readings from Blythe, Kayla Czaga and Ben Ladouceur.