Baby’s Back!

And there’s a new baby on the way… due date April 15th, 2024. It’s my second poetry collection with MQUP, and I’m very excited to welcome it to the world. We often call our works our “book babies,” and this time, it’s doubly true. With another captivating cover by David Drummond, this time the image includes the cross on Mount Royal in Montreal, which is fitting since some of the poems are “set” in that belle ville.

Here are a few blurbs that will appear on its cover. I’m so grateful to the writers who took the time to offer these early reviews.

“Whiny Baby is garden and grit, wit and compassion. Julie Paul is unafraid to name what visits us as writers and as humans in the world: longing and grief, lust and greed and hunger, and moments of a rich and clarifying light. Framed through humour and wry self-implication, these are poems of great generosity that speak the world in all of its fraught complexity – the wild thrash of its radiant heart.” Jenna Butler.

“Whiny Baby’s perceptive heart spots a spelling mistake or a blue jay from a hundred feet away. The speaker in these poems is Cohen’s pretty woman in the darkened door, crying ‘why not ask for more.’ Her candour, her caramel syllables, keep me reading! More priest than queen, she listens to grass, floats dead man, is a reason to stay together. Whiny Baby is a self-aware witness in which feeling is the ground, the scars, the hope-soaked prayer between the lines.” Cornelia Hoogland

“Is it ‘smoke, pollen, the lack of self-restraint’ that has me tearing up as I dive, whole body, into the poems in Whiny Baby? Yes, but also it is the incredible female voice here, the deeply emotionally connected woman living and being in the world. It is middle age, childhood, and motherhood. It is the mother who irons her young adult son’s shirts to be close, it is the ‘chair that was never guaranteed to still be there / when the music stopped,’ and it is that ‘no one cooks for you’ once a beloved Nana is gone. It is the big questions and the small moments that nearly answer them. These poems recalibrate, they check in.” Yvonne Blomer

“Julie Paul’s poems are suffused with daily light, with wit and humour, and with the unexpected gift of grace. ‘I am here to offer company,’ she writes, “… a gesture of love on a sunny morning.” Her company is the best kind, funny and wise. I love her careful craft, her supple lines that follow one another as naturally as water in a stream, riffling over rocks, and the deeply attentive care she pays to the world around her, at her feet, in the sky and in branches of the trees shading her walks. Read these poems for their beauty, their surprising turns of phrase, their emotional depth, and for the space they hold for all of us within this generous book.” Theresa Kishkan

“Trust me, Whiny Baby is a song you want to hear on repeat. These poems demonstrate Julie Paul’s range; her voice is by turns tender, lyrically buoyant, clever, funny, and wryly self-aware. Some of these poems are as distilled as the best of Kay Ryan and some are abundant, lushly playful, offering the sort of wisdom and solace encountered in Mary Oliver’s work. In being attentive to ‘what humans do,’ Julie Paul’s poems illuminate ‘the struggle to love as best as possible what’s right in front of you.’ No small gift.” Susan Elmslie

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