The poems of Hyaena Season examine the intimacies of a wide range of human experience from the killing grounds of Rwanda and DR Congo to more familiar Canadian settings. But no matter the topics – whether memories of parents, children, lovers or the even more challenging stories of physical and emotional conflict at home or away – the focus is intensely personal, as the poems grapple with the tensions between life’s darkest undercurrents and its most tender epiphanies.
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Reviews of this Book
“A poem has its own mind,” writes Richard Osler, and Osler speaks from within the poem’s mind, where, from war to its aftermath, from all the broken places and the struggle for entente within and without, Osler is “the foreigner, the traveller who knocks,” who asks, “Is there a true song that doesn’t know a cage?” “When love is not enough,” there is poetry – to gather, to speak the words which will open the cage. And this, this is what Osler does.
– Pamela Porter
The past blends with the present in these poems, the seams each one makes, a stitchery marking the wounds of a poet’s world. Here is a book of changes, each poem an open mouth, a heart. Richard Osler remakes himself again and then again, each poem a fiction of wonder, each poem a page in the story of a man.
– Patrick Lane
Hyena Season draws us deep into the blackened bog of a dream, takes us “walking with a stranger’s bones.” These poems can be lush and exuberant; they can be sharply whetted blades. This is what a book should do: turn us around inside our own skin.
– Anne Simpson