Every Shameless Ray
poems by Leslie Timmins

Inanna Publications, October 2018

In poems of tenderness and ruthless truth, Every Shameless Ray examines personal terror, familial myth, art historical bias, and political madness, offering some unlikely means for living in our unlikely times.

 Intellectually curious, emotionally acute and playful in form, this collection explores the possibility one finds one’s way when headed somewhere else. The poems often rely upon the unreliable — the accidents and reversals that disrupt habits of perception, identity and desire. Like the tipped-over kayaker who rides a river’s current upside-down into a ‘green channel’ of namelessness, or the woman who reconsiders a man’s hands, and the man, when he uncovers a secret, second row of wet black papaya seeds. Like the shock of invention that emanates from a Matisse painting, these events ‘tear the fabric of the world.’

The heart may ache, grave illness threaten, war rage, and art tear down its foundations, but in Every Shameless Ray a shameless calling goes on signaling and illuminating, restoring and repairing in a ‘fine disorder’ of possibility.


What the Previews are Saying


If half the pleasure of Timmins’ poetry comes from discovering surprising new perspectives, as in “The Field Speaks of Its Persistence,” much of the rest comes from our sense of her tactile control of texture and language as she ranges from the endearingly domestic through the joyfully sensual to encounters with disease. Not only in her concluding Matisse sequence, but throughout the book, the poet displays a vibrant, painterly awareness of the colours and shapes of the real world that helps us to re-envision the familiar. Hers is an imagination we can trust.

– Christopher Levenson, Governor General’s Award nominee and author
of A tattered coat upon a stick and Night Vision


Whether traversing the fraught terrain of cancer or depicting the ecstatic in Matisse’s canvasses, Timmins explores the nature of perception, its shifts and shadows, in finely wrought, beautifully crafted poems. This collection shimmers with a radiant engagement with life.

– Fiona Tinwei Lam, author of Intimate Distances and
Enter the Chrysanthemum


Leslie Timmins’ Every Shameless Ray unfolds in three linked movements: “The Calling,” “Echo,” and “A Fine Disorder.” The culminating sequence is a tour de force of ekphrastic reflection on the art and life of Henri Matisse that unifies the various themes of brokenness and regeneration in the volume as a whole. Though her poetic meditation on Matisse’s windows, Timmins opens readers to the French artist’s multi-dimensional planes of space and colour, landing us in the place of the open heart, a “First Supper” of sacramental feminine presence. Enter the world of these poems and be shamelessly transformed.

– Susan McCaslin, author of Into the Open: Poems New and Selected



Where to Purchase



Information for Ordering

Paperback: 100 pages
Publisher: Inanna Poetry & Fiction Series (Oct. 25 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1771335777
ISBN-13: 978-1771335775
Product Dimensions: 19 x 0.8 x 15.2 cm
Shipping Weight: 286 g