Contemporary Canadian Literature with a Distinctly Urban Twist

Anvil Press

Fishing for Leviathan

Fishing for Leviathan

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Had Charles Bukowski and Mary Karr birthed a literary bastard child, it could have been Rodney DeCroo. From the banks of the Allegheny River to the west coast of Canada comes a fighter and survivor that has chosen poetry and song as his weapons of defence. These poems show you what happens to the traumatized children of drunken, negligent, and equally traumatized parents. Children and teens living in powder keg homes whose “safe place” is a hiding spot behind the furnace, the streets, abandoned houses, and condemned factories.

These pages are stained by people that have done horrible things and had horrible things done to them: neglected Vietnam vets, out-of-work coal miners, desperate and violent men with nothing but rage for a world that used them up like canisters of propane. This is not work about the privileged and entitled, but the trapped wage-earners and broken labourers that make the world of the privileged possible. And it is all anointed with liberal quantities of booze and drugs which, of course, make the situations worse; but they also make the days and nights bearable.

These are poems from a writer who has crawled through a mile of broken glass and come out the other side more or less intact.

Advance praise for Fishing for Leviathan:

“Rodney DeCroo’s work reveals again and again that he’s as true a poet as any writing today. Like all poets who can lay claim to authenticity, he’s a troubled marriage of heaven and hell, and in this collection he has brought forth fierce, finely honed poems that are at once brutal and uniquely beautiful. Fishing for Leviathan is a piercing imaginative document and a clear, redemptive revelation of what it is to be alive.”
— Russell Thornton, author of Answer to Blue

“These are tough, devastating, gorgeous poems that speak with nuance and a fiercely independent voice — the like of which I guarantee you’ve never heard before. Fishing for Leviathan is Rodney DeCroo’s best collection yet.”
— Claire Askew, author of How to burn a woman

Reviews of Fishing for Leviathan:

“DeCroo’s skill lies in distilling lived truths into a few spare lines that pack an emotional wallop, and in his ability to frame things that are specific to him in such a way that they touch upon something universal.”
— Stir Magazine

  • Publication: June 2023
  • ISBN: 978-1-77214-213-6
  • Pages: 112 pps.
  • Size: 5.25 x 8.25 inches

Rodney DeCroo is the author of two previous books of poetry, Allegheny, BC and Next Door to the Butcher Shop. His poems have been published in Canadian publications such as subTerrain, Geist, Event, BC Bookworld, The Vancouver Province, Discorder Magazine, and The Georgia Straight, among others. His poetry has appeared in Beyond Forgetting, an anthology celebrating the work and life of legendary Canadian poet Al Purdy, and as part of BC’s Poetry in Transit. He has appeared on CBC to read his poems and is also a well-known, touring singer-songwriter with eight albums to his credit. His solo plays Stupid Boy in an Ugly Town and Didn’t Hurt have toured across Canada and the US. In 2019, Moniack Mhor, Scotland’s National Writing Centre, awarded him an International Poet in Residency.

Books by Rodney DeCroo