Other Titles

Decked and Dancing: Poems

Winner of the Acorn-Plantos Award 2007.

About the Book

The sixty-four poems in this first collection from Saltspring writer Christine Smart are intimate and sensual, often profound yet always accessible. Some written in sensuous prose, others in a variety of image-rich verse forms, they speak of desire, love and longing, life and death, the beauty and evanescence of a natural world closely observed. One group of poems is an unsentimental, vividly recalled evocation of the poet’s early life on an Ottawa Valley farm. Another faces the dark side, with poems of illness, loss and grief, while a third rejoices in the pleasures of physical desire, love and motherhood.

96 pages with cover illustration and original black and white drawings by Mary A. Foote.

Cover and text design by Frances Hunter.

“Whether in taut prose or image-rich lines that trace ‘the edge of knowing,’ these poems note up-close the sensory tangibles of a life bodily-aware, aroused, and conscious of time’s shadow. Chris Smart’s poems are on the side of life, even with its pain.”
Daphne Marlatt

“Christine Smart’s poems perform acts of clear-eyed unsentimental recollection and fierce longing, and move with an earthy music that is all their own. The reader is left with a sense of the sharp, bittersweet tang of the authentic.”
Don McKay


Christine Smart received the Acorn-Plantos award for Decked and Dancing. The award is given for a volume of poetry accessible to the general reader in its language and imagery and it names her “People’s Poet 2007.”


“Smart’s poetry breathes with an impeccably solid rhythm. Nothing dangles, rattles or distracts. Each word is poised and settled in its rightful place. Love, birth, nature and the domestic are treated with reverence, not sentimentality.”
Gulf Islands Driftwood, October 2006

“Filled with wonderful and accessible poetry, it’s a quality production.”
Aqua, Winter 2006

“The first section of Christine Smart’s collection of poetry focusses on the immense and unrelenting labour of farm life and the complicated dynamics of a patriarchy. The detail is gripping, from the violence of killing chickens to the beauty of a mother’s quilting. The other two parts of the collection have a wider range of topics–breast cancer, pregnancy, artichokes, and much more. The whole book is rich in descriptions of ordinary life, thereby ironically elevating that life beyond the ordinary.”
Room, 30. 1

About the Author

Christine Smart was born in 1953 in Shawville, Québec. She graduated from Queen’s University with a B.Sc.N. degree (1976) and holds a degree in Fine Arts, Writing (1997) from the University of Victoria. She worked in Montreal, Edinburgh and Victoria before moving in 1989 to Saltspring Island, B.C. where she is a community health nurse. She has previously published poems in the anthologies Vintage ‘92 and Pomegranate, the chapbooks Coming Home, Blindfolds and Community of Monsters and the periodicals Grain and Other Voices. Her second poetry collection, Ghost Railway, is forthcoming from Hedgerow Press in 2013. Learn more at christinesmart.ca

About the Artist

Mary A. Foote is a budget analyst at Ft. Lawton in Seattle, Washington, where she was born in 1955. A graduate of the Art Institute of Seattle and a member of the Colored Pencil Society of America, she works in pastels, oils, pen and ink, colored pencil and photography. A long-time contributor of pen and ink drawings to the magazine Three Star Final, she has also designed promotional art for many small businesses and major chain restaurants.

Hedgerow Press: 10876 Madrona Dr, North Saanich BC, V8L 5N9 · Phone: 250-656-9320 · E-Mail: hedgep@telus.net