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This page lists Lesley Choyce's published poetry collections. For samples of his poetry, click here.

In Praise of Small Mistakes.jpg

In Praise of Small Mistakes

2020 | Ekstasis Editions

Buy the Book: Ekstasis Editions

We learn from our mistakes more often than from our success. The title poem sets the stage for an unlikely and engaging examination of the minor and major events of a life. The events are perhaps down to earth but Choyce comes at them from curious angles and presents his own singular interpretation of what the world offers up to an engaging mind. The geography is home on the coast of Nova Scotia but also on the streets of England, France, Italy, Greece and Germany. Wandering through these landscapes, Choyce provides a virtual tour of the real and the imagined through the lens of language that speaks of both perplexity and awe.

Available in paperback.


Climbing Knocknarea

2017 | Ekstasis Editions

Buy the Book: Ekstasis Editions

Climbing Knocknarea is Lesley Choyce’s 92nd book. Included are poems about wonder and loss, simplicity and transcendence, grief and joy, history and imagination, hurt and happiness as well as the multitude of ordinary everyday things that shape our lives. The travel poems take the reader to Mt. Vesuvius and Pompeii, Dublin and Donegal, Santa Cruz and San Francisco, the Bay of Fundy and Bulgaria, Aberdeenshire and Amalfi, Paris and Rome, New Jersey and Nova Scotia. Many of these poems reflect how the poem itself can take on a personality and a life of its own, each attempting in its own way to become a living entity possible to leap off the page and become part of the reader’s life.

Available in Paperback.


All Alone at the End of the World

2014 | Ekstasis Editions

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In this hauntingly lyrical and always surprising collection of poetry, Lesley Choyce offers his unique observations of life in all its wonders. Geographically, the poems range from his home in Nova Scotia to Greece, England, Ireland, Italy and New Jersey. Along the way, the poet falls into a well, encounters a dead seal, eavesdrops on university students, drives to the English Channel, hangs up laundry, makes lasagna and has an epiphany while mailing a letter on a snowy day. He learns lessons inside a cancer ward, dreams of having a picnic with Hitler, fights the hostility of an empty page, encounters a world of contradictions and flees from the dark dreams of a North Carolina casino. There are poems of death here but also of healing and hope. In “Reinventing the Poet,” Choyce examines what is needed to revitalize the poet and the poem but also the necessary ingredients for breathing life and vitality back into every waking moment. Jim Morrison offers an important lesson about poetry, fame and madness. Choyce himself dances along the precipice of sanity with poems that consider purpose, growth, hope and, finally, the end of the world. All Alone at the End of the World is a wild ride across real continents and imaginary landscapes for anyone willing to turn off the news and tap into the imagination.

Available in Paperback.


I'm Alive. I Believe in Everything.

January 8, 2013 | Breton Books

Buy the Book: Amazon | Chapters/Indigo

Winner of the 2013 Atlantic Poetry Prize

I’m Alive. I Believe in Everything is a generous collection of new and selected poems by Lesley Choyce. It includes a wide range of subjects ranging from war, peace, surfing, organic gardening, aging and seaweed, to Halifax, Saskatoon, Glasgow, outhouses, cement mixers, crows, watermelons, mushrooms, geese, truth, lies and madness.

Available in Paperback.


The Discipline of Ice

December 10, 2008 | Ekstasis Editions

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The Discipline of Ice is an experiment of thought and word bursting with enthusiasm, devotion and despair. Part rant, part ode, part mirage, the book covers a wide range of important subject matter, including merit badges, God, cigarettes, Tokyo, Jules Verne, Iceland, Vietnam, cranberries, Clam Bay, Doaktown, Nietzsche, Culloden, County Cork, Joshua Slocum, Euell Gibbons, chantarelles, truth, delusion, class reunions, the death of Peter Gzowski, the Yellowhead Highway, the sound of birds singing and an anthem to silence.

Available in Paperback.


Revenge of the Optimist

January 1, 2004 | Ekstasis Editions

Buy the Book: Amazon | Ekstasis Editions

Lesley Choyce’s poetry is transcendental, joyful and at times ecstatic, though rooted securely in the world. The new poems in Revenge of the Optimist are charged with a kind of soulful music and are distinguished by wide tonal flavours and range. Lesley Choyce has said of his writing that “Poetry arises from events, real or imagined, that stir the intellect and emotions to re-create, through words, the full impact of life’s greatest challenges… the best poetry comes about from the compassion that develops in a writer, the compassion necessary to understand the pain and joy of others while at the same time being able to work with one’s own suffering as a source for emotional honesty in all that is written.”

Available in Paperback.


Typographical Eras

September 1, 2003 | Gaspereau Press

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A poet and publisher presents found poetry preserved from bygone days of manual page layout.

Available in Paperback.


Caution to the Wind

January 1, 2000 | Ekstasis Editions

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In Caution to the Wind the poet explores the nature of memory, places encountered while travelling and life at home. These engaging poems offer portraits of a soul contemplating the tenuous bonds of fear and hope that are shared between us and tie us to the world.

Available in Paperback.


Beautiful Sadness

January 1, 1998 | Ekstasis Editions

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In Beautiful Sadness laughter often simmers under a rueful - or strangely joyful - melancholy tone. These poems are the songs you might sing on street corners if, reaching beyond the troubles of daily life, you discover the resiliency of the spirit.

Available in Paperback.


The Coastline of Forgetting

January 1, 1996 | Pottersfield Press

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We are all shaped by the place where we live and, for Lesley Choyce, the coastal geography of Nova Scotia has always been a powerful influence. In this poetic journal he documents his time hiking one small part of the coastline of Nova Scotia - from the Lawrencetown River mouth to Grand Desert. It was here, close to home, that he hiked a meditative trek over the course of one summer to record the life of this shoreline.

Available in Paperback.


The End of Ice

January 1, 1985 | Fiddlehead Poetry Books

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Choyce writes of his experience of living in Nova Scotia with affectionate comedy and self-directed irony.

Available in Paperback.

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