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Without Ceremony

Without Ceremony

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Without Ceremony

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Oct 15, 2020


Centred on the everyday, and crafted without preamble or pretension, the poems in Without Ceremony are a literary pastiche—a thematic mosaic not unlike tracks on an album. Amidst a timeless cast of characters from Lucretius and Eva Hesse, to Joan Mitchell and St. Augustine, Carr illuminates what it means to truly know something and questions how certain knowledge becomes valued over others. Without Ceremony spotlights the gendered division of ideas and the inherent strength of language to harm and oppress, as well as elevate. Within these pages, passing encounters become rare spectacles, and the ordinary, without ambitions of grandeur or ceremony, is celebrated, making Carr's new collection a clarifying elixir for our time.

Praise for Angela Carr:

“Angela Carr’s words in Without Ceremony point their arrows toward a ledge where communication knows “both failure and perfection at once.” Her poetry isn’t invested in naming things (perhaps this is what is unceremonious) because things, even thingness, and their energies change so rapidly. Carr creates a field of verb-rich arriving where confessional exasperations are tried and transformed in pleasurable abstraction. She summons other women poets and artists (Hesse, Dickinson, Mitchell) not to revere them but to create a queer chorus of those who can bring us to see that what seems holy is simply ordinary.”
 —Stacy Szymaszek, author of A Year From Today

“Angela Carr’s poems spark a startling immediacy directly to the heart of everyday encounters and how poems form “under the moment of language.” Her work gives us the rare and complex gift of how to move out of the house of regret amidst the instability of the contemporary. Here in Without Ceremony are interior conversations with the likes of Lucretius, Dickinson, Moorman, that show how readers become writers and how words feel when put on us by others, which ones we choose to wear, which to strip off. Let Without Ceremony become one of those books “that are familiar as friends,” always present to puncture through the space of the day to the intimacy we need to construct joy, a holding area for the moving moment.”
 —Lee Ann Brown, author of Other Archer

Oct 15, 2020

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Without Ceremony - Angela Carr



copyright © 2020 by Angela Carr


No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication

Title: Without ceremony / Angela Carr.

Names: Carr, Angela, 1976– author.

Description: Poems.

Identifiers: Canadiana (print) 20200306715 | Canadiana (ebook) 2020030674



9781771666299 (softcover) |


9781771666305 (




9781771666312 (


) |


9781771666329 (Kindle)


LCC PS8605.A7728 W58 2020 | DDC C811/.6—dc23

The production of this book was made possible through the generous assistance of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council. Book*hug Press also acknowledges the support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund and the Government of Ontario through the Ontario Book Publishing Tax Credit and the Ontario Book Fund.

Logos: Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Government of Canada, Ontario Creates

Book*hug Press acknowledges that the land on which we operate is the traditional territory of many nations, including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippawa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples. We recognize the enduring presence of many diverse First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples and are grateful for the opportunity to meet and work on this territory.


Direction of Flight

Iceberg Blue

Practice before Theory

Straight as an Arrow

Around/Harmonically Static


Catalogue of Disasters

The Music Did Demand Certain Things

Proving Up for Honey


Going through the Motions

Blue Arrows

Without Ceremony

A Morbid Occupation

Feminine Rhyme

Reusable Swerve

An Opening

Falling Arrows

Enter on the Left

Strange but True

A Held Note

The Sculptor’s House

Eva Hesse’s Arrows

St. Augustine’s Arrow

Palm Reading, after Joan Mitchell’s No Rain

Island of Broken Arrows, Incandescent, Transient

Moving Platform

Plot Line, after The Green Years (Os Verdes Anos)


Colour Debts







I was quite still for a long time

Notes on the Poems

About the Author


Direction of Flight


At the fish market in Union Square we choose flounder filleted

and decline the oysters.

From an elderly farmer who looks like your grandfather,

we buy six narcissi: his only product.

They’re a pale buttery yellow, flecked with old-fashioned Monarch orange,

a colour scheme from your grandmother’s breakfast nook, a scene that vanished in the twentieth

century, as quickly as this perfume is subtle, yet the aroma does

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