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C.H. Gervais

6 X 9 inches, 64 pages

Penumbra Press Poetry Series, No. 21
DON'T LET THE TITLE DECEIVE YOU—Autobiographies is not sentimental verse; it is not dripping with nostalgia for some gone-by youth. Instead, Gervais makes a mature attempt to discover connections between real and imagined pasts, and those of various loved ones. He searches for truths among the fictions, delights in the lies among the truths. "The soil for all these imaginings" is how one of the poems refers to the experience. It is one worth sharing.

Autobiographies is Marty Gervais' third volume of poetry with Penumbra Press since its inception in 1979.

Strange as it may seem
as the photographs of our children
accumulate over the years
it becomes increasingly
difficult to distinguish
one child from the other—
their eager colorful innocence
certain in our love & security
but unaware that we sort
through their faces, frantic
at the awful notion, that failure
of telling one from the other
This afternoon, I sort
through anniversaries,
the moments in each of their lives
things said & done, things left
for the cold air that surrounds
my confusion. Their photographs
may blur reality but I hear
their voices. I sense that curious
& distinct determination to be unique.

Indistinguishable Stories



C.H. (Marty) Gervais


Marty Gervais was born in Windsor and grew up in Bracebridge. He received a BA from University of Guelph and an MA in creative writing from University of Windsor, where he studied under Morley Callaghan. The recipient of numerous journalism awards in his lengthy career as a journalist at The Windsor Star, and lauded for his book The Rumrunners, a history of Prohibition in Canada, Gervais has also won recognition for his creative writing. With Autobiographies he was runner-up in the Milton Acorn Memorial People's Poetry competition in 1989.

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