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A Garden in the Rain cover

  • Paperback Edition
    • 978-1-03-919854-8
    • 5.0 x 8.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 114 pages
  • Hardcover Edition
    • 978-1-03-919855-5
    • 5.0 x 8.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 114 pages
  • Keywords
    • garden poems,
    • form poetry,
    • mental illness,
    • addiction,
    • plant history,
    • poetry

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A Garden in the Rain
by Dell Catherall

In this début collection, Dell Catherall shapes language the way a gardener prunes an aspen tree. Paying tribute to a garden, a husband, a son lost to childhood demons, the poems in this collection connect the humble to the luminous. A draft dodger collects wild plants from the coast of British Columbia. Camellias bloom as a sex worker from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside enters a creative writing class. Witch hazel acts as a metaphor for a son suffering with bipolar disorder. With the four seasons as an overarching structure, Catherall deftly moves between forms: A palindrome reveals the murderous and miraculous qualities of rhubarb. “Fig Sestina” describes a perfect summer gift from the husband's garden. Frozen hellebore blooms and bleeding hearts garland a journey through motherhood, marriage, and friendship, while wisteria cascades outside the boundaries of pleasure and grief. Lush, fragrant, and humming with life, A Garden in the Rain reminds us that all is never lost—that plants may die, but “gardens are forever.”

Dell Catherall is a poet and retired high school teacher-librarian. Post retirement she was a volunteer teacher for ten years in the Carnegie Community Centre learning program. Her poem “Fig Sestina” was published in Best Canadian Poetry 2020. Other poems have been published in literary journals and longlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize. A lifelong dancer, Dell has been tapping and performing with Razzmatap for over thirty years. When she’s not writing, dancing or assisting her husband in the garden, she enjoys Zumba, Pilates and the DSS bookclub. Dell lives in Vancouver, BC with her husband Greer (a master gardener) and a cat named Tiki.


Dell Catherall

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