Visible Living: Poems Selected and New

Visible Living, by Marya Fiamengo

Visible Living

Poems Selected and New

by Marya Fiamengo


  • Autumn 2006
  • ISBN 978-1-55380-042-2 (1-55380-042-7)
  • 6″ X 9″ Trade Paperback, 158 pages
  • Poetry

Marya Fiamengo‘s first collection of poems, The Quality of Halves, was published in 1958 when the poet was thirty-one. Subsequent volumes, including Overheard at the Oracle (1969). Silt of Iron (1971), In Praise of Old Women (1976), North of the Cold Star (1978), Patience After Compline (1989) and White Linen Remembered (1996), have developed an increasingly personal voice and a deepening social engagement.

Fiamengo’s poetic voice is always arresting and distinctive, blending the passion and lyricism of her ancestral language (Croatian) and mythos with the decorum, historical resonance, and moral commitments (to ideals of social justice in particular) of the British and Canadian traditions. She is a Canadian nationalist and a moderate feminist – also human, humorous, and frank.

Visible Living: Poems Selected and New presents a definitive selection of the best of her work, ranging from early writing to a large number of recent, previously unpublished verse. It enables readers to trace the development of Fiamengo’s voice and concerns, from early work based on exploration of myth, to engagements with historical and political realities, to feminist pieces, to later elegies, to lyrics of highly personal statement on mortality and the divine, and confirms her achievement and status in the highest rank of Canadian poets.

“These poems are our music; hers is a strong, sure voice whose echoes go back sixty years, whose sound and story are our present world. All I can do is offer praise.”
— Patrick Lane, Winner of the Governor General’s Award

“Blessed with a keen eye and an exuberant gift for language, Marya Fiamengo distills a lifetime of seeing in these remarkable poems.”
— Sandra Djwa, Professor Emerita, Simon Fraser University

Also by Marya Fiamengo:



“[Fiamengo] is a practiced craftsperson who can tack down the abstract with the smallest dash of the concrete”
Malahat Review

“The great strength of this collection is the insight it lends into Fiamengo’s evolution as a poet.”
Canadian Literature