Mercy, the timelessness of loss

Community News & Features Apr 26, 2019 at 2:51 pm
Shirley Camia

Shirley Camia

Book release with Toronto reading

WINNIPEG–May is Asian Heritage Month and Turnstone Press is proud to announce the timely release of Shirley Camia’s newest collection of poetry, Mercy.

Shirley Camia is a Filipina-Canadian poet. She is the author of the award-winning Children Shouldn’t Use Knives (At Bay Press, 2017), The Significance of Moths (Turnstone Press, 2015), and Calliope (Libros Libertad, 2011).

Expanding breathlessly in the magnitude of loss, Shirley Camia’s fourth collection, Mercy, confronts despair to emerge anew with a bright offering of elegy. Beginning at her mother’s hospital bed, Camia invites readers to keep vigil while she journeys through seasons of bereavement, from the wake to the graveside, and into a year of processing, searching, and healing. Ethereal and elegant, Camia’s reflections are grounded in grief as they do the aching, earth-shattering work of mourning and moving forward.

What Camia captures so authentically in Mercy is the timelessness of loss. These poems evoke an elegiac mode that is as age-old as grief itself, while also inventing surprising ways to write around the perimeters of what’s absent. It’s a tribute to her mother’s passing that invited me in with directness and generosity. From the remnants and rituals, from these “pieces that summon a whole/ (hole),” these poems offer a fragile and continuous “treasure.”Phoebe Wang, Admission Requirements

Shirley Camia is an ideal interview guest for topics related to loss and mourning, elegy, minimalism, and Filipino culture in Canada.

To arrange an interview with Shirley Camia, or for more information, please contact Melissa McIvor at Turnstone Press by phone, at 204-947-1555, or by email at

Upcoming Events
• Winnipeg
Speaking Crow
Tuesday, May 7, 2019
Millennium Library – Carol Shields Auditorium, 251 Donald Street, 7 p.m.

• Book launch
Thursday, May 9, 2019
McNally Robinson Booksellers, 1120 Grant Avenue, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Those who are unable to attend the McNally book launch can tune in to a live stream of the event on our Facebook page, and will have the opportunity to post questions in real-time for the Q&A session.

• Bridgewater, Virginia
Bridgewater International
Poetry Festival
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Bridgewater College, 402 East College Street, Carter Center Concert Hall, 7 p.m.

• Toronto
Poetry Reading
Friday, May 10, 2019
Knife Fork Book, 244 Augusta Avenue, 2nd floor, The Dark Side Studio, 7 p.m.

• Vancouver
Poetry Reading
Sunday, May 26, 2019
Massy Books, 229 E. Georgia Street, 3 p.m.