Homage to Happiness
Hagios Press / 21 August 2015

Homage to Happiness by Judith Krause Published by Hagios Press Review by Shelley A. Leedahl $17.95 ISBN 978-1-926710-29-7 In her fifth collection, Homage to Happiness, Saskatchewan Poet Laureate Judith Krause integrates a multitude of subjects and voices to create a savoury feast of poems. The Regina poet throws her pen’s light on insomnia, family, horses, Regina (a long poem, “Cathedral Village,” is dedicated to that enviable neighbourhood), travel, love, poets, science projects, news items, the hourglass, the number 13, food (poems include “Gingerbread” and “Chili Tomatoes”), and much more. Discovering the surprise of where she’ll go next is half the pleasure of this book, which features a cover painting by William Perehudoff against a “happy” yellow background. The Acknowledgements reveal that the life story of SK-born abstract expressionist painter Agnes Martin inspired some of the work; I admire those writers like Krause who can take on another’s persona and get so deeply “inside” that they make readers believe they’re engaging directly with the subject. In the long title poem, Krause gives us both a literal and interior portrayal of the artist, Martin. She writes: “my large hands\at ease, hanging over\the ends of the armrests, as exotic\as two bunches of bananas”…

Mongrel Love
Hagios Press / 1 October 2008

Krause experiments with poetic forms, line endings, and imagery. The words and images in Mongrel Love are chosen to take the reader along on the journey. “We are all wounded/& beautiful” says the title poem, as we travel “the fruitless/ quest for the familiar.”