New Book by Debbie Strange

Keibooks has announced the publication of Warp and Weft by Canadian poet Debbie Strange.
Here is the announcement from M. Kei:

Primal poetry with a pagan heart, Warp and Weft by Debbie Strange weaves tanka into short threads of three each, each triptych building into a larger sequence that tells the story of a poet with a raven’s eye. Traversing the wilderness of the human heart, Strange’s map is written with quills upon clouds. Each triptych is an incantation to accompany the moments of life and impregnate them with the fecund power of darkness. She is comfortable with night, with ravens, ashes, soil, pain, and the welling blood of an injured heart. But for all the ghosts that glide through her lines, the wind always rises upwards to become clouds and stars.


my hands
tend the wild roses
upon your grave
in blood and blossoms
I sanctify your name


into midnight
by stars upon stars
nothing but stars


at the stoplight
she squeegees
car windows
her scrawny arms tattooed
with poetry and addiction


she lies trembling
as he dissects the diagnosis
three daughter moths
flutter in fear’s white blaze


riding pillion
my heart
against your back
we unzip the highway
at the velocity of night


“Debbie Strange’s imagination dwells in the world of elemental forces. In her tanka we encounter fire (“burnt down fields of dreams” and the “sun’s closed fist”), water (“glacier hearts” and “bouquets of wild rain”), earth (“dust of love letters” and “stone sorrows”), and wind (“windswept bone” and a “gypsy wind”). At home with ocean and prairie, desert and city, Strange writes elegantly-crafted triptychs that are lyrical and sensual, and saturated with colour and scent. Strange is a songwriter as well as artist and poet and her tanka are steeped in the music of “fog horns sounding a dirge”, “blues wailing through harmonica bones,” and “the bakeshop café’s a capella harmonies.” The poet also possesses the rare ability to surprise: sand in her “shell mouth” never becomes pearls, and the “ragged scars” on her back are “remnants of that night they tore off my broken wings.” Warp and Weft is a fine and sophisticated debut collection.”

—Angela Leuck, author of A Cicada in the Cosmos and Garden Meditations


“Warp and Weft unfurls like the first bulbs of spring, strong and unquiet, they are “the cleft between mountains” where echoes live. These poems, these tiny bones, small as phalanges, but what would we do without them?”

—Katherena Vermette, author of North End Love Songs, winner of the 2013 Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry and the 2015 selection for On the Same Page, Manitoba’s Book Club


“Warp and Weft is Debbie Strange’s Leaves of Grass. We have an amazing poet living amongst us. Let us sing her praises.”

—Alexis Rotella, author of Lip Prints, a tanka collection, and Between Waves, haiku


“Canadian poet Debbie Strange’s first collection of short form poetry, Warp and Weft, Tanka Threads, is stunningly beautiful and deeply moving. The titular threads each are three tanka, from the last lines of which a title for the thread is drawn. The arrangement of verses shows the meticulous and discriminating care of an art gallery show. Strange manages to combine gorgeous language with a spare diction. So much is said in a few well-chosen words. These tanka are a pleasure to read and read again. Debbie Strange has emerged as an important voice in tanka poetry.”

—Denis M. Garrison, author of First Winter Rain (tanka) and Hidden River: Haiku and editor of Modern English Tanka, Haiku Harvest, Ambrosia: Journal of Fine Haiku, and others



Warp and Weft, Tanka Threads

by Debbie Strange

Edited by M. Kei

ISBN 978-1512361124 (Print) 94 pp

$12.00 USD (print) or $5.00 USD (Kindle)


Purchase in print at:


Also available in print and ebook at and other online retailers.



P O Box 516

Perryville, MD 21903 USA





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