The Waking Comes Late
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The Waking Comes Late

Winner of the 2016 Governor General's Award for Poetry

Raymond Souster Award finalist

“Steven Heighton's The Waking Comes Late is a journey deepening as we read. He locates the complexities of the personal in a wide range of social issues, while playing masterfully with language, form and tone. His stunning political poems never descend to pedantry or the prosaic. A mature work: smart, moving, inventive, original.”
—Jury Citation, Governor General's Award For Poetry

The Waking Comes Late, a poetry collection published by House of Anansi, April 2016

Includes poems anthologized in Best American Poetry 2012 (ed. Mark Doty), The Best Canadian Poetry 2016 (ed. Helen Humphreys), and The Best of Walrus Poetry (ed. Michael Lista)

“Deservedly won a Governor General's Award... Richly rewarding on repeated reading... The poems are by turns angry, elegiac, or simply intoxicated with wordplay and the intricacy of assonance... It's a mature poet's work, its heft a growing feeling of assurance that's intimated in the loose, confident translations he includes of works by other poets. ”
—John Doyle, Globe & Mail

“In these excellent poems, Heighton shows how technical mastery can merge with acutely relevant subject matter to great effect. In fact, when it comes to language, Heighton is a remarkably efficient poet: I rarely find, as I often do when reading Canadian poetry, myself mentally editing as I go along. Words here are too precious to be left out of place . . . The Waking Comes Late is a rare book that successfully combines intellect with guts and deep feeling.” —Christopher Doda, ARC   READ THE FULL REVIEW →

“Heighton's 2016 GG Award for poetry was long overdue.” —Donna Bailey Nurse, Literary Review of Canada

”[These poems] glint with memorable images and figures … and treat enduring themes with skill and compassion.” —Nicolas Bradley, Canadian Literature

“There are remarkable things here.” —Fraser Sutherland, Quill & Quire   READ THE FULL REVIEW →

“Heighton's powerful, tough poems combine world-weariness with erudite humour.” —Jonathan Ball, Winnipeg Free Press   READ THE FULL REVIEW →

“A fertile blend of his own lucid, heart-wrenching poems and a series of translations... There is great depth in these poems, and the kind of variety that affords balance.” —Wayne Grady, The Kingston Whig-Standard   READ THE FULL REVIEW →

“Erudite, intertextual, given to vertiginous conceptual leaps... A poignant examination of the challenge to make meaning out of life's struggles.” —Myra Bloom, The Puritan   READ THE FULL REVIEW →

“Heighton's poems are lucid and heart-wrenching.” —Mary MacDonald, Pique

“A highly evolved work from a writer who, "in the early evening of a life", is a master of form and sound... From one of Canada's finest lyricists, here are beautiful, wise poems glittering with music, echoes and subtle rhyme.” —Miranda Pearson, Victoria Festival of Authors