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math for couples

math for couples

By Adele Graf

In math for couples, we re-visit the past to discover our place in the contemporary world. A long-dead father watches his daughter work on her Mac, a woman converses with a photo of her young self. Adele Graf leads us on a journey that is rich and hopeful, evoking powerful nostalgia even if we've never been to the places described. When these poems release us back to our current lives, we feel restored to savour the warmth in a “glad red hat” and the love that arrives “still summer lush.”


Guernica Editions (Essential Poets Series)


95 pages |

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Whether she’s revisiting fraught scenes from her past with wry humour or facing them down deadpan, Adele Graf infuses whatever she touches—bric-a-brac, childhood haunts, or stricken relatives—with a vividness that places them stage-centre. Charting a memorable path through several generations of family upheaval and continuance, she evokes her grandmother’s New Jersey milliner shop, her father’s tragic early death, and her own journey to late-life plenitude with a sharp eye for the waystations that lead from disillusionment to delight.

Peter Richardson

math for couples is a warm and playful debut collection. You can feel the pleasure Adele Graf takes in the words she juggles and the forms she explores in this very intimate adventure.

Stuart Ross, author of A Sparrow Came Down Resplendent,

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Archibald Lampman Award (Short-listed)

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About the author

Adele Graf grew up outside New York City and immigrated to Canada in 1968. She has worked as a writer and editor, and taught writing in the public and private sectors in Halifax and Ottawa. Her first book of poetry, math for couples, was published by Guernica Editions in 2017 and shortlisted for the Archibald Lampman Award. Her chapbook, Directions to Suffern NY circa 1950, won the Tree Reading Series chapbook prize and was published in 2018. Her second book of poetry, buckled into the sky, was published by Guernica Editions in 2021. She lives in Ottawa with her spouse.