by Chelsea Coupal
Although many readers may be familiar with stories about rural Saskatchewan from the early 20th century, Chelsea Coupal's poetry collection Sedley tells a different story: one of small town Saskatchewan from a modern perspective.
While much of small-town living remains the same: farming is always reliant on the weather regardless of new technology, after all, there is a sense of urgency and a need to escape in Chelsea's poetry; her stories of growing up on the prairies include references to cell phones and modern farmers who are more like businessmen. There is a musical cadence and rhythm to the poems themselves, which range from reminiscences on high school and first love, to darker themes like death and suicide that haunt the Sedley residents.
Accompanied by photographs of the town, shot by Chelsea herself, this debut collection of poetry weaves together both the personal and universal, harvesting not only the prairies, but a sense of community and belonging.