Open Letter: Woman Against Violence Against Women (2014)


Publisher: Frontenac House; 1st edition (2014)
ISBN: 978-1927823231

Shortlisted for the Robert Kroetsch Poetry Book Award.



This evocative book binds the ancient past with the distant future – by reclaiming the present. It is a recitation and a prayer of reconciliation, whether expressed in radical chant filled with the optimism of healing or in the Celtic lament of a cunning passage-play.

Open Letter is a hymn that revisits the poet’s adolescence with the extended tension of a Deirdre of the Sorrows. It is an incantation heard in the beat of a Bodhrán, Calling the Taliesin in, through which everything flows, from River to lyric Stone. But mostly it is a epistle to the world, to all those who have been harmed and seek a path to recovery.

Conceived out of improvisation, this collage of thresholds and crossings zeroes-in on the topic of violence against women, with wisdom and poignant insight. Prepare to be moved to action as Open Letter compares the desecration of the earth to the treatment of women.


If Sheri-D Wilson never writes another word again, with this book she’ll have guaranteed herself a place in the canon of Canadian poetry. As far as I’m concerned, it’s her masterpiece— although, wait a minute, maybe I need to reconsider that terminology. In her case, we may have to find a better name, and simply call this “woman-piece” her most important work.
Heidi Greco, The Indie Nub Arts Hub

This book is an eloquent reminder that violence against women continues to this day, on a global scale. Fortunately, people like Sheri-D Wilson’s are fighting against it, with strong, movign words that leap off the page into the hearts and minds of readers, there to inspire, influence and stir to action.
Joanne Morcom, The Advocate

With an arsenal of eight poetry books under her belt, her latest, Open Letter: Woman Against Violence Against Women, is a biting work. It presents healing, history, defense lessons, and consolation without shying away from the discernible anger that drives the project. Not one to shy away from experimentation, Wilson frees up sonnets by breaking them into minimalistic imagery. Alternately, she constrains free forms into her own molds, making the female voice a transformative one.
Jacqueline Valencia, Broken Pencil

The book may seem more straightforward in its messaging than what we’ve come to expect from Wilson, who is known as the “Mama of Dada” for her debt to the avant-garde early 20th-century art movement that favoured chaos over form. She has also earned a reputation for her improvisational and live-performance skills and as a leading proponent of spoken word.
Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald


Additional information

Weight.204 kg
Dimensions23.1 × 15.5 × .8 cm
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