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Small Beneath the Sky: A Prairie Memoir

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  126 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
A volume of poignant recollections by one of Canada's most celebrated poets, Small Beneath the Sky is a tender, unsparing portrait of a family and a place.

Lorna Crozier vividly depicts her hometown of Swift Current, with its one main street, two high schools, and three beer parlors-where her father spent most of his evenings. She writes unflinchingly about the grief and sh
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published July 13th 2009 by Greystone Books (first published January 1st 2009)
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Dec 31, 2011 Suzanne rated it really liked it
Anyone who has grown up under a prairie sky will find much to connect with in Crozier's beautiful book about her life in small town Saskatchewan. Crozier is a celebrated Canadian poet and she lends her delicate touch with words to this book of short stories, giving readers a well-thought look into prairie life. You feel like you're reading a book of poetry. The wheat, the streets, the sky - they come alive.

Although having growing up in "modern day" Saskatchewan, my parents and their parents exi
Dec 20, 2015 Leah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lorna Crozier's writing is honest, filled with beauty and poetry. Her memoir pulled me in and wouldn't let me go.
Paula Dembeck
Aug 22, 2013 Paula Dembeck rated it really liked it
In this small volume, Lorna Crozier produces a memoir only a poet could write. She tells us how the geography of her home and her early family life in Swift Current Saskatchewan gave her an understanding of the world and shaped the person she became.

She chooses to tell her story through the prism of a quote from Aristotle, who believed there was something beyond cause and effect, some immoveable force he called "the first cause". So it is through the prism of these "first causes" that she title
Sep 27, 2016 Jenny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
One of my absolute favorites. Crozier's memoir is poetic, full of life, transformative. It is so breathtakingly real, and Lorna writes in a way that the words are desperate to be spoken aloud, to be felt on the tongue. I will reread this again and again and again.
Dec 01, 2016 Anne rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
I've only just discovered a few of Crozier's poetry books in the past few months, so I'm not sure why I decided to read her memoir. Honestly, I think it's at least in part because of the cover, which is gorgeous.

Her memoir is not like a typical memoir. Through out the book, in little collections of 2 or 3, she includes mini chapters that aren't always memories (at least, not the historic kind you generally find in memoirs). Prose, I suppose, on grass and insects and such. It's a lovely and unex
Ann Douglas
Oct 08, 2012 Ann Douglas rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, read-in-2012
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shonna Froebel
Dec 09, 2012 Shonna Froebel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: canadian, favorites
This memoir had me enthralled from the first page. The imagery is some of the best I've ever read and she intersperses memoir segments with impressions on nature and her prairie surroundings.
Her memoir is open and honest and she doesn't try to gloss over the difficult times. She has gained permissions from some people she grew up with to tell their stories and has changed the names of others. Her family life was not easy and she talks about the role family dynamics played in not only her life, b
Oct 17, 2014 Julie rated it really liked it
It's not surprising that this memoir straddles the border of poetry and prose since Lorna Crozier is known more as a poet than an author. I love the glimpses she shares of the struggles and the magic of living in a prairie town and a child's perspective on poverty. Amongst the stories of her family are vignettes called "first cause". A concept borrowed from Aristotle, first cause is a force that is outside the realm of cause & effect, a place of beginning. Crozier's first cause elements ...more
Trudy Jaskela
Sep 26, 2012 Trudy Jaskela rated it really liked it
Lorna's story of growning up in a large town in Saskatchewan. I grew up in a small town (400 persons) Swift Current, about 90 miles from my hometown, was a large town as far as I was concerned.
Book is about realtionships also. Lorna's mother was a strong character who obviously played a huge part in Lorna's success in life. Lorna's father gambled and drank to excess.
I enjoy reading books about growning up on the praires in southern in Saskatchewan
Jennifer Irvine
Short essays about the author's life in Swift Current, Sask. Poignant at times - drunk father poverty, feeling less than yet good memories of family. The book's format is a good study on how one can write a memoir - short pieces that fit together even though they don't always flow chronologically. Borrowed this book because of its structure.
Jul 10, 2016 Sandra rated it it was amazing
Loved this memoir of Crozier's childhood in Swift Current, Saskatchewan. As one of Canada's premier poets it is no surprise that this short book is filled with lyrical prose and evocative descriptions. It is a short book, easily read in one sitting, and an honest, personal narrative of how both place and family shape us into who we become.
Marney Cooley
Beautiful language - poetic at times but powerful in evoking the landscape and culture that shaped the author's childhood. Anyone who has driven through the Great Plains will understand the geography. Emotionally involving. Thoughtful too.
Jul 26, 2013 Judy rated it it was amazing
Lorna Crozier knows a thing or two about love. Her writing is as beautiful as it is seemingly effortless. I could feel the prairie wind on my face and the dust settling on my skin. An exquisite gem of a book.
Jul 31, 2010 Monique rated it really liked it
A beautiful book in writing and package design. Lorna Crozier is a lovely, lovely writer. This is a prairie memoir that assumes a prairie personality.
Aug 02, 2016 Teresa rated it it was amazing
A very personal experience for me bringing back my own memories of the sights, sounds and sometimes even smells of the prairies. Poetry in prose.
Skai Leja
Dec 26, 2009 Skai Leja rated it it was amazing
Beautiful evocation of a time, a place, a relationship, many relationships, actually, of growing up and maturing.
Apr 21, 2014 Kelly rated it it was amazing
41/2-5 stars. A gem, a beautiful book. Some sentences took my breath away with their elegance and emotion.
Sep 21, 2014 Megan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, family, memoir
Beautiful, lyrical, funny, and to me, it truly captured life in Southwest SK. I don't often tend towards reading memoirs, but I know this one will leave a lasting impression.
Kathy Stinson
Feb 11, 2015 Kathy Stinson rated it it was amazing
As beautifully written memoir as I've ever read. The pieces on the passing of her mother are especially moving.
Dec 27, 2015 Hk rated it it was amazing
Wonderful evocative images of the prairies. Brought back long forgotten feelings and senses from my childhood.
Mar 25, 2014 Julie rated it liked it
I originally read this book in 2010 and again four years later in 2014. I enjoyed it more in 2014 !
Lynn Kearney
Dec 18, 2009 Lynn Kearney rated it really liked it
Am very fond of memoirs and this one, by Canadian poet Lorna Crozier is excellent. Lots that's familiar from my own Canadian childhood.
Bonnie rated it liked it
Apr 24, 2015
Janice rated it it was amazing
Jul 16, 2012
Courtney Bates-Hardy
Courtney Bates-Hardy rated it really liked it
Jul 28, 2016
Lois rated it really liked it
Aug 14, 2012
Susan rated it it was amazing
Jan 18, 2016
Katherine rated it it was amazing
Nov 13, 2016
Jan 31, 2015 Katy rated it really liked it
Poignant and gorgeously written.
Candis rated it it was amazing
Sep 17, 2016
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Lorna Crozier was born in 1948 in Swift Current, Saskatchewan. As a child growing up in a prairie community where the local heroes were hockey players and curlers, she “never once thought of being a writer.” After university, Lorna went on to teach high school English and work as a guidance counsellor. During these years, Lorna published her first poem in Grain magazine, a publication that turned ...more
More about Lorna Crozier...

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“Who but my mother held those small pieces of my childhood? Where would they go when she was gone?” 9 likes
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