Nancy Mackenzie

Crisp-Maned Bay

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With lyrical homage to earth and ocean, Nancy Mackenzie’s poetry in Crisp-Maned Bay pulses through each chamber of our divided hearts with a responsible sense of belonging. The first part, Marble Island, is a paean to the feminine, romance, tragedy, and fate. The poems in this section find fierce joy in calling in the ghosts with their wisdoms and magics. “Crisp-Maned Bay” – three words from The Mabinogion – herein evoke the horse as well as the sea (bay), to be complicit in the poet’s travels through a corridor of time. The second part, The Mermaid’s Tale, turns back time to when the poet learned from Athen’s Pentelic pillars and the soft glow of lantern light in a little Mediterranean village by the sea. In the final part, What We Are Formed by Nature to Bear reveals notes falling/falling notes to pipe us over the threshold into a harvest of ordinary/extraordinary beauty and truth.

Clear and lucid, the poems in this collection range geographically from Alberta to Athens, and emotionally in their examination of both loss and growth. Mackenzie’s skill at weaving together the mythological, the ecological, and the personal, is matched by her coincident awareness of the beautiful and the magical hidden in plain sight all around her. Prayerful at times but not somber, and playful but not superficial, currents of intelligence and compassion run parallel throughout these poems. There is a knowledgeable music here that is bound to reward the reader.
~ Calvin Wharton

Crisp-Maned Bay is an honour-braid of Greek myth, runes and crystals, Christian mysticism, and Indigenous ritual. It is a fable where-in the speaker questions her identity, her alliances, and what she can know for certain. She is a mermaid on feminine island where she comes to terms with herself through the sea, the land, and ancestral skies. These poems are the music of Debussy, Celtic harp and Hildegard Von Bingen. They are both exotic and close to home like the moon that “multiples in the sky / until six iterations float like sails.” These poems are for anyone who has ever sought love, guidance, and connection, takes pleasure in beautiful word-images, and who is ready to “harness turbulence with rhythm.”
~ Julie C. Robison

Nancy Mackenzie is the author of several books of poetry and books for children. A dressage enthusiast and long-time fan of horseracing, Mackenzie lives in Edmonton, Alberta where she operates a professional writing service called Bronze Horse Communications. A novel, Nerve Line, was published by Ekstasis Editions in 2014.

ISBN 978-1-77171-287-3
96 Pages
6 x 9
Now available

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