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Sonnet L’Abbe

Sonnet L’Abbé, daughter of a Guyanese visual artist of South Asian descent, and a Franco-Ontarian potter, won the Bronwen Wallace Memorial Award in 2000 for most promising writer under the age of 35. She has lived in Alberta, Manitoba, and Southwestern Ontario,and now lives in Toronto. L’Abbé earned a BFA in film and video at York University in Toronto, and a masters degree in English literature at the University of Guelph. Her work has appeared in a number of literary journals a several anthologies including Red Silk: An Anthology of South Asian Canadian Women Poets, and Open Field: 30 Canadian Poets.



Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 2007.
PS8573 .A26 K54 2007

Publisher’s Synopsis

With its razzle-dazzle wordplay and kaleidoscope of subjects, Sonnet L’Abbé’s second collection of poems is a tour-de-force. L’Abbé invents her own unique poetics, coupling a glittering variety of patterns with tumbling rhythms and rhymes. And with this refreshed language, she reconsiders all the rules for twenty-first-century life. The poems work like a whirlwind, ranging from the intimacy of infancy to the shock of whole civilizations razed by war, and are infused with a political undertone that reveals a child’s emerging understanding of identity, of specific citizenship, of bodies physical and psychological, of language, imagination, and dream. Whether funny or funky, candid or subtle, amused and ironic or stunned in fright, the poems are guided by a fierce intelligence that never oversimplifies the world. Killarnoe, the poet tells us, “is a place I invented right now. I just built it from my head.” And in its reconsideration of what it means to be, Killarnoe is fascinating, charged, and inspired.


Sonnet’s Shakespeare: Poems

Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 2019.
Forthcoming August 2019

Publisher’s Synopsis



A Strange Relief: Poems

Toronto: M&S, 2001.
PS8573 .A26 S77 2001

Publisher’s Synopsis

In her delicately architected, but toughly envisioned poems, L’Abbé surveys the world and finds it both beautiful and unjust. She portrays that complex world with luxurious rhythms and a vocabulary that invites us to marvel at language’s infinite possibilities. … L’Abbé’s lyric sequences play on the ear with formal measures and headstrong lines that reinforce her thrillingly varied, but interconnected themes of politics, geography, and love.


Publisher McClelland and Stewart