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Praise for The Words Wanting Out

"Here in the span of 150-plus pages, Dempster spins a series of observations and musings that both come straight from his unconscious and the meditating of the corrosiveness of our society. For these poems speak of the beauty and solace in the everyday, the tiny antidotes to our daily grinds. It's a remarkable collection, bare as bone and delicate as marrow. . . . disarmingly uncalculated and refeshingly cathartic. . . . a lovely engaging collection."
-Chris DeVito, CO-OP/CiTR/CJSF Radio

"Let’s not mince words: the poetry in this collection is as good as it gets in this country. . . The man doesn’t make a false step for 168 pages! . . . Barry Dempster is a magician, and this is one of the finest books of poetry I’ve read this year. I say give the guy the damn prize: he’s more than earned it."
Richard Stevenson, League of Canadian Poets

"The Words Wanting Out is a representative sampling of the last 30 years of Dempster's work, in a beautiful single volume. . . . Dempster is here successful in invoking the strange borderlands that exist between the youthfully troubled worlds of suburban Canada and the mystical mindset of the religious family."
George Murray, Globe & Mail

"Barry Dempster grounds his poems in the specifics of people, animals, and the landscape. . . . Dempster’s characters speak the unexpected. . . . The poet moves easily between pop culture, religion, and the Canadian landscape, each time offering something startling and new, as in “Lucky Pigs,” in which the epigraph reads, 'a pig’s orgasm lasts thirty minutes.' Dempster observes, 'Ten minutes and his ears are undulating, / his eyeballs squirming in their sockets. / He isn’t really a pig anymore, / but an avalanche.' Try getting that image out of your mind. But then, pigs in ecstasy make a fitting metaphor for what the finest poems in these collections do: express a passionate, deeply felt response, that, when you encounter it, is impossible to ignore."
-Camille-Yvette Welsch, ForeWord Magazine

"His writing style is forceful, declarative, seemingly autobiographical, often employing the first person in the narrative. "A Million Words" could be Dempster's ars poetica as well as hisars vita...The words are 'wanting out' not only as artistic expression but also as a kind of exorcism, a cleansing of the spirit."
-Barbara Myers, ARC