Chewing Water

Nelson Ball

ISBN 978-1-77126-105-0
$17.00 CDN/USA
120 pages

Chewing Water continues Nelson Ball’s fascinating forays into the social, into communities of humans, after spending decades writing primarily about nature. While mourning, loss, and decay are featuring more heavily than ever in his poetry, friendship, hope, and love are gaining on those themes. Nelson’s poems concentrate on the tiniest things, the tiniest moments: a letter of the alphabet, an expired fly, the tone of a friend’s voice. While most of these poems are brief, the spirit behind them is expansive. This book is a landmark in the growing oeuvre of a Canadian poet whose influence has only grown over the decades.


“Nelson Ball continues to be Canada’s greatest practicing minimalist poet.… His poems (and chapbooks, and books) are just so refreshing. So much noise is stripped away. He is attentive to both the sounds and the material constructions of letters on a minute scale. He plays between lyric and sound, concrete and found poetry. His love poems are simply the best going. He’s funny and he’s sad and has continued to do all these things for over fifty years now.”
—Cameron Anstee

“Nelson Ball is a man of few words. But the words he chooses when writing his minimalist poetry are thought provoking, poignant and, at times, powerful.”
—Colleen Toms, Brant News

“He sees what we all see, the small transitory moments that make up our lives—but there is nothing ‘small’ about his conclusions or observations.”
—Michael Dennis, Today’s Book of Poetry

“From his seat at the pond’s edge, the poet learns to hear the language of its elements, and then teaches the reader to do the same.”
—Nita Pronovost, Matrix

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