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Your writing speaks to me as no other does. You inspire emotions that I had told myself were not important. My heart breaks for that child/young adult in high school; for that child in Grade Six whose dreams and aspirations were laughed at. I, like many others I am certain, have experienced similarities. I will hug that inner child with love and compassion. She deserved/deserves nothing but love. The smell of a baby's head is one of life's greatest gifts. To this day, one of my greatest pleasures is kissing my grandbabies’ heads, even after a sweaty hockey game. My granddaughter is now taller than I. She has begun to kiss my head. For most of what you wrote, the word that comes to mind is Love. Beautiful, sweet, Love. And for those other things, it is the absence of Love. Sending you love, with much gratitude and appreciation for sharing with us your gift of poetry.
Sandy Joy
This may seem out of the blue, but I wanted you to know that you have been drifting in and out of my mind. I have always enjoyed your company on the few occasions that we have met. A few months ago, I read your writing: Melancholia, Without the Romance. I was so deeply moved by receiving these words that they have kept surfacing to greet me. Thank you for sharing this part of your life. It is women like you, who open your heart to others by bravely expressing personal experiences that offer courage to the vulnerable. Your writing was crafted with authentic precision and beauty. You are a remarkable woman. I am sorry that you have suffered in the way that you have expressed. It sucks. I apologize for taking so long to thank you.
Mhairi Gray
Kingston, ON
Tricia McCallum's poems encounter what “will not be known” over and over again, in a voice both quiet and unflinching. With humility and "incongruous grace," McCallum masters the art of seeing -- and reminds us as readers to look closely at what is lost or forgotten. A fugue of fleeting faces and moments, The Music of Leaving is a collection that deserves--indeed, demands--to be savored.
Jena Strong
Author of "Don't Miss This" |
If you want to know something worth exploring through the various faces of humanity, pick up Tricia McCallum's The Music of Leaving and take a ride on the subway, sit in the cafe over a cup of steaming tea, go to the pub and lean in: see if these poems don't guide you and resonate with the people you cross hellos with along the way. McCallum's interludes echo strains of how we piece ourselves together, "...the very process by which we retrieve the past/is flawed, random plays fast and loose with/fact, detail, even colour..." with "yearning as fervent/passion as acute." But this poet carries us confidently. She locates the glue in the mundane, shares the lessons borne from strife and limns the borders of the roles we inhabit. These are not instructions gathered, but rather, questions posed so that we may pause, explore deeply, and take the overlooked in, "Why did I not grab every moment/And make it sing." She reminds us to not only inhabit our relationships, but to actually relate.
Amy King
Author of four volumes of poetry, teaches English and Creative Writing at SUNY Nassau Community College and serves on the executive board of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts.
I cut this poem out of a magazine years ago, and carried the copy with me everywhere. It is easily the most beautiful poem I have ever read, and I have a Bachelors in Literature so I have read a lot of poetry. At some point, during a move, I lost my only copy. I have been searching for it for many years, and tonight I finally found it. I have been weeping tears of joy all night. I am now complete again. Thank you Ms. McCallum for helping a young girl through the profound suffering of losing first love. You are amazing.
Judi DeMonico
a reader, on my poem "Rewrites"
The Music of Leaving dramatizes multiple departures: emotional, political, geographical, temporal. Tricia McCallum’s accessible and direct “slice of life” poems are artfully shaped by the candor and compassion of a wise woman who has learned much from a life of curious journeying.
Laurie Kruk
author of My Mother Did Not Tell Stories
Poetry is not normally my thing but I loved this book and will come back to it often. I know I was feeling rushed in a few spots, and I would like to go back and read those again when I have time to reflect on the content. Even without doing that the imagery is so profound in some of them that I could feel the biting wind and sense the loneliness. A great read.
Miranda Wood
Brantford, ON
Tricia McCallum is a true poet! Her poetry is touching, I was very moved by so many of them. At Rest, brought tears to my eyes. The Music of Leaving is a beautifully written book. I look forward to more from this author. I received this book from for an honest review.
Gerri Watkins
Dothan, Alabama
This book is exquisite. The poems and artwork are beautiful! The essays are superb! If you haven't already guessed I really loved this book! Yes it is sad but I can relate to losing a parent. Thank you Tricia McCallum for giving me the honor of receiving this treasure from you. A must read!!!
Dusty Summerford
Warrior, Alabama
I couldn't help myself. Once I opened the book I read it cover to cover and read some pages twice. Beautiful, so very touching and alive with love, loss and memories. Each photo was placed correctly, very appropriate. I would gladly have given this book an A++. I loved every word. I hope Tricia McCallum writes another for all to read. Such beautiful, loving memories to carry with you. Thank you so much for the opportunity to read your poetry. I cannot pick a favorite but the father reading his book at her (mother’s) bedside is so telling, warms my heart.
Susie Spizzirro
Nicholasville, Kentucky
McCallum. Why have I not seen you before?! Have I been living in some deep, dark cave? What an amazing collection of poems. A real feast for the soul is within the pages of this book! I found myself taking a much longer time than I should have to review this, because I was busy digesting and contemplating each piece. I am sure that my friends and family thought I was nuts as I continued and will continue to remind them to look for this book. I just can't bear to part with mine to lend them as I want to go back to read these works over and over again. A solid 5/5 for enjoyment, composition and content.
Sharlene Munday
Whitecourt, Alberta
Wish I knew what year this poem was written (One of These Gray Days). I know I had it taped on my refrigerator for a couple of decades, and was upset when someone threw it away, which was about 25 years ago. I tried to find it online a few times, but didn’t have any luck, until today! I knew this poem by heart, and oftentimes I would think of it. I’m so glad that I’ve found it! Thank you!
Terri Rodgers

Writer and Poet

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Tricia McCallum

Always be a poet. Even in prose.
Charles Baudelaire.

In essence I am a storyteller who writes poems. Put simply, I write the poems I want to read.[…]

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