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The Music of Leaving

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There is a music of leaving, as surely as there is that of arriving.

And it is this distinct soulful music that we often hear, however faintly, in the background of our lives.

Welcome to The Music of Leaving, a collection of 63 poems by Tricia McCallum.

What are McCallum’s poems about?

They are about elephants being traipsed through the Queen’s midtown tunnel, an unstable child’s slide, and roaming island dogs. About a visit to a family home before it is sold, a late-night conversation in a plane above an ocean, and shrewd Irish falcons. About eloquent gravestones, da Vinci’s unfinished joke book, the elegant legs of a heron, and landing on the moon. About a jackknife dive at dusk, a young girl’s sleepover, and a memory instantly evoked by brushing against a growth of lavender.

McCallum’s book is also about good love and bad love, she says. “Especially bad love, that common heartbreaking thing.”

She stresses her poems are about commonplace things, but they are not necessarily simple. “The abstract never drew me. The day-to-day world and all its detail provides me more than I need.”

McCallum’s hope for her new book The Music of Leaving is that it delivers to her readers those “magical moments of understanding” that a good poem can.

100 pages, Paperback

First published October 10, 2014

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About the author

Tricia McCallum

2 books39 followers
Tricia McCallum is an award winning Glasgow-born Canadian writer and poet, a Huffington Post Blogger, and a nominee for the 2016 Pushcart Prize.

McCallum is the author of "The Music of Leaving" by Toronto's Demeter Press (2014) and "Nothing Gold Can Stay: A Mother and Father Remembered" (2011). Her newest poetry collection entitled "Icarus Also Flew" was a finalist in New York's 2017 Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize.

McCallum’s unrivalled passion is poetry. Her poem “Thirst” won the goodreads.com poetry competition in December 2011. In May 2012 she again won the Goodreads contest with her poem “There’s Always the Guy.” An Honorable Mention for "How Things Happen" came in 2016. In January 2017 McCallum won the Goodreads contest a third time with her poem "The Things I Learned as Bartender."

An insatiable traveler all of her life, her various, seemingly endless incarnations have included stints as a bartender, flight attendant, shrimp de-veiner, speechwriter, writer of personalized wedding vows, chambermaid, house painter, au pair, TV product pitch artist, short order cook, corporate editor, legal courier and perhaps her favourite, a freelance photographer specializing in black and white.

McCallum’s poem about her mother entitled “To Her, I Was” appeared in the Huffington Post on International Women’s Day 2011. Her poem "The Island Dog" is included in the hardcover anthology entitled Estuary: A Confluence of Art & Poetry, an international poetry and visual arts album published in November, 2012 in England. Two of McCallum’s poems, “Following Seas” and “The Gift of Donovan,” appeared in the first issue of the quarterly poetry e-zine called IMPress, a poetry and art publishing house.

McCallum’s poem “Glowing Tribute” appears in the Key Porter anthology of Canadian verse entitled Barbed Lyres, edited by Margaret Atwood. Cosmopolitan magazine under the editor Helen Gurley Brown published a total of 20 of McCallum’s poems throughout the ‘80’s and ‘90’s, more than that of any other poet. Her poem “No Harm Done” appeared in a League of Canadian Poets’ newsletter. Most recently her poems have appeared online in many poetry journals including Every Day Poems, Poetry Breakfast, and A Quiet Courage.

In her career as a Toronto freelance writer she has been featured as a guest columnist in the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, and the Financial Post, written for Flare magazine, and lectured on freelance writing at Toronto’s York University.

McCallum also publishes fiction. Her short story “What Gets Lost” was published in the Canadian literary journal Quarry and her short story “Clutter” won a Toronto Star award for fiction writing.

"Put simply, I write the poems I want to read," McCallum says." I have always aspired to write intelligible, accessible poems. I can’t imagine doing otherwise.

"In essence I am a storyteller who writes poems. My poems tell of falcons in Ireland, elephants being traipsed through the Queen’s Midtown Tunnel and stray island dogs. About beleaguered mothers and neglected toddlers and subservient wives. About small town cashiers, beauty queens, and neurosurgeons. I am always curious about how people navigate their lives and what it is they struggle with under the surface."

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Displaying 1 - 6 of 6 reviews
Profile Image for Kathy.
40 reviews3 followers
September 27, 2014
I thought this book makes one stop and think about the life they are living and about the past and to remember it all with a full heart and therein they would have a reason to remember life well-lived.
Profile Image for Miranda Wood.
33 reviews12 followers
October 9, 2014
Poetry is not normally my thing but I loved this book and will come back to it often. I know I was feeling rushed in a few spots, and I would like to go back and read those again when I have time to reflect on the content. Even without doing that the imagery is so profound in some of them that I could feel the biting wind and sense the loneliness. A great read.
Profile Image for Bridget.
18 reviews1 follower
October 7, 2014
This was a charming collection of lovely poems. Each one was a story in itself that anyone could relate to.
Profile Image for Sharlene.
99 reviews2 followers
November 7, 2014
I received this book as the result of a First Reads giveaway.

McCallum. Why have I not seen you before?! Have I been living in some deep, dark cave?

What an amazing collection of poems. A real feast for the soul is within the pages of this book!

I found myself really enjoying each poem individually and taking a much longer time than I should have to review this, because I was too busy digesting and really contemplating about each subject. I truly felt that each piece resonated deep within me and needed further reflection before moving on.

I am sure that my friends and family thought I was nuts as I continued and will continue to remind them to look for this book when it is released. I just can't bare to part with mine to lend them as I want to go back to read these works over and over again.

A solid 5/5 for enjoyment, composition and content.

Profile Image for Gerri Watkins.
50 reviews3 followers
October 10, 2014
Tricia McCallum is a true poet! Her poetry is touching, I was very moved by so many of them. At Rest, brought tears to my eyes. The Music of Leaving is a beautifully written book. I look forward to more from this author.
I received this book from goodreads.com for an honest review.
Profile Image for Courtney Chappell.
945 reviews1 follower
January 25, 2016
I got this book for free from a contest, and I am very glad I did not pay money for it. I didn't find these to be poems, more like ramblings. And I did not enjoy them at all.
Displaying 1 - 6 of 6 reviews

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