Although many readers may be familiar with stories about rural Saskatchewan from the early 20th century, Chelsea Coupal's poetry collection Sedley tells a different story: one of small-town Saskatchewan from a modern perspective.
While much of small-town living remains the same: farming is always reliant on the weather regardless of new technology, her stories of growing up on the prairies include references to cell phones and modern farmers who are more like businessmen. There is a musical cadence and rhythm to the poems themselves, which range from reminiscences on high school and first love, to darker themes like accidental death and suicide.
Accompanied by photographs, shot by Chelsea herself, this debut collection of poetry weaves together both the personal and universal, harvesting not only the prairies, but a sense of community and belonging.
“These poems have a luminous simplicity to them and beautifully bring rural Saskatchewan to life...”
“Coupal...succeeds admirably in painting a measured, loving, occasionally caustic, often blistering portrait of a small farming community...A brave beginning."
City of Regina
Writing Award judge
“...there is an abundance of gorgeously rewarding stand-alone poems.”
Quill and Quire
“Coupal...captures the magic, beauty, tragedy and inexplicable weirdness that come with growing up in rural Saskatchewan...It has left a lasting impression on me and I know that I will find myself picking it up again and again."
“In this fiercely honest debut collection, Coupal wrangles her memories of land and light, friendship and personal growth into a rich field of golden retrospect on her hometown of Sedley, Saskatchewan. Coupal's poetry is fresh and refreshing - a confident, complex and poignant voice that lifts up stories of rural life."
Saskatchewan Book Awards
Chelsea Coupal's first poetry collection, Sedley (Coteau Books, 2018), was shortlisted for three Saskatchewan Book Awards and an excerpt from the manuscript won the 2017 City of Regina Writing Award; her work has appeared in literary journals across Canada, including Arc, Event and Grain; and the anthology Best Canadian Poetry 2019. She grew up in the village of Sedley, Saskatchewan and now lives in Regina, where she completed a Master of Arts degree in Creative Writing.