rob mclennan

Four poems for talking about strawberries all of the time


How distance, observes. In the interest
in full transparency.


How easy it once was

to lack fruit, garner scurvy. Now one must,
at least in Western realms,

lack sense. From Ancient Egypt,
to the Age of Sail.


Still flames lick
the surface of fear. Nailed

to the barnyard door. Food guides,
suggest a healthy intake we haven’t

the capacity

to provide. I wish
to speak to you

of bees.


A view of the definitive. The spread
of a step.

Born in Ottawa, Canada’s glorious capital city, rob mclennan currently lives in Ottawa, where he is home full-time with the two wee girls he shares with Christine McNair. The author of more than thirty trade books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, he won the John Newlove Poetry Award in 2010, the Council for the Arts in Ottawa Mid-Career Award in 2014, and was longlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize in 2012 and 2017. In March, 2016, he was inducted into the VERSe Ottawa Hall of Honour. His most recent poetry titles include A halt, which is empty (Mansfield Press, 2019) and Life sentence, (Spuyten Duyvil, 2019). An editor and publisher, he runs above/ground press, seventeen seconds: a journal of poetry and poetics (, Touch the Donkey ( and the Ottawa poetry pdf annual ottawater ( He is “Interviews Editor” at Queen Mob’s Teahouse, editor of my (small press) writing day, and an editor/managing editor of many gendered mothers. He spent the 2007-8 academic year in Edmonton as writer-in-residence at the University of Alberta, and regularly posts reviews, essays, interviews and other notices at