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Masham Means Evening

by Kanina Dawson

Masham Means Evening

"The Afghan cooks arrive at camp before dawn so they don't get their heads cut off after work. That can happen if they're not careful."

It is six years since Canadian forces began their long struggle to hold Kandahar province. Ten years since Canada opened its embassy in Kabul and launched Operation ATHENA to establish security in the city. Twelve years since Canadian forces were committed to Operation Enduring Freedom to dismantle al-Qaeda's network and remove the Taliban from power. As Canada prepares to bring its troops home for good, Masham Means Evening is a poetry collection that takes the reader inside army camps, convoys, schools, markets, and villages, charting a young female soldier's tour through Canada's war in Afghanistan.

Inextricably, vividly engaged with the human side of the war, Masham Means Evening recreates the ordinary soldiers and medics, the weary village leaders, the school principals fearing acid attacks on their female students, the "dangerous men" hidden behind a mask of hospitality – a microcosm of those whose fortunes have thrust them into the path of an endlessly complex conflict. Sensual lyricism contrasts with clean, spare language, bringing us quietly to the tragedies and small celebrations that happen in the spaces between. Images of breathtaking beauty are made fragile by a terrifyingly present brutality. These poems are a thin membrane barely containing both fury and grim fatalism at the new cruelties each day brings. It is an extraordinary debut collection rich in the images of a daily life forged from extreme circumstances.

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5.5" x 8.5" 88 pages
16.95 CDN; 16.95 USD
E-Book Price
Poetry Tradepaper Adult
Kanina Dawson
Author Photo

About the Author

Kanina is the author of several works of literary non-fiction published in magazines such as Event and subTerrain. She has been awarded numerous prizes for creative non-fiction since 2001.

Masham Means Evening is Kanina's first published poetry collection and is based on her experiences while deployed as a serving member of the Canadian military in Afghanistan. Kanina lives and works in Ottawa.

From the author: "This collection of poems is based on the almost ten months of time I spent serving with Canada's military in war-torn Afghanistan. While they encapsulate the military experience, they also provide a raw, more personal account of what it is to be at war, describing those moments of giant disconnect from reality that constantly threaten to sever one's ability to be good. These poems talk of loss and of loss not yet realized; of normality, instinctively fought for in between the violent deaths of others; and of the timeless and enduring nature of conflict. These poems serve as snapshots of lives lived in the midst of a seemingly endless conflict where heat bears down like a vice, where suicide bombers wait in the alleys and where mountains jut from the desert like teeth."



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