rob mclennan

ISBN 9781771262835

$18.00 CDN/USA 176 pages

This suite of pandemic essays exist within those first one hundred days of original lockdown, marking time through moments, anxieties and the elasticity of time itself. What are days, weeks, months? In this stunning collection of deeply personal essays, Ottawa writer rob mclennan wanders through literature, parenting, family, the constant barrage of cable news and the slow loss of his widower father across the swirling, simultaneous anxieties and uncertainties of an increasing sense of isolation.

Born in Ottawa, Canada’s glorious capital city, rob mclennan currently lives in Ottawa, where he is home full-time with the two wee girls he shares with Christine McNair. The author of more than thirty trade books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, he won the John Newlove Poetry Award in 2010, the Council for the Arts in Ottawa Mid-Career Award in 2014, and was longlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize in 2012 and 2017. In March, 2016, he was inducted into the VERSe Ottawa Hall of Honour. His most recent poetry titles include _A halt, which is empty_ (Mansfield Press, 2019), _Life sentence_, (Spuyten Duyvil, 2019) and _the book of smaller _(University of Calgary Press, 2022). In spring 2020, he won ‘best pandemic beard’ from Coach House Books via Twitter, of which he is extremely proud (and mentions constantly). He spent the 2007-8 academic year in Edmonton as writer-in-residence at the University of Alberta, and regularly posts reviews, essays, interviews and other notices at

“mclennan’s writing is clear and haunting. This is a book that will stay with you for years to come.”
—Anne Thériault

“The short lyric essays that comprise this book in one long meditative stream are indeed written in the face of uncertainties: not knowing where the pandemic of 2020 and on will lead us or how it will change us. The narrator/author stays home with his wife and two daughters while the map of the fallen to Covid expands and the numbers mount. In the face of the terrifying reality of death and political neglect, we are ensconced in the peaceful home of a small family that continues to work and play in isolation. mclennan writes with great elegance and compassion, and his expansive reading of books and authors from all over the world is brought into his narrative with great skill and ease. As a result, we find ourselves at the centre of a very large world of writers talking to each other across the globe and we see clearly that in this lockdown we are not alone. We never were alone. This book is a beautiful companion for our time and a very absorbing narrative that is hard to put down once you begin.”
—Kristjana Gunnars


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