ONE OF CBC BOOKS’ BEST BOOKS OF 2023
A jubilant, irreverent, generous collection by a poet facing terminal illness.
Following his New York Times Best of the Year Dark Woods, Richard Sanger’s fourth and final book is a clear-eyed and big-hearted inventory of the passions of a life well lived. Understated, tender, archly funny and achingly generous, Way to Go is a joyful catalog of Sanger’s loves and a last gift from an irrepressibly jubilant poet.
So many springs and falls and pounces,
So many vintages crushed
And dripping through our fingers,
So many nights and letters ending love,
You’d think we’d long since drained the cup.
Praise for Way to Go
“Sanger wields the traditional tools of the poet—rhyme, metre and metaphor—brilliantly, and inhabits a range of speakers and situations. […] The collection is more a celebration of life than a lament.”
“In Way to Go, Richard Sanger uses poetry to explore his passions, give gratitude and provide humourous observations about a life well-lived.”
“Remarkable […] We should all be so blessed (and brave) to leave such a farewell as Sanger has.”
Praise for Richard Sanger
“The rueful, lucid, deliberately casual poems in Dark Woods can surprise you with their tenderness, but also with their prickly intelligence.”
—New York Times
“Splendidly-shaped and imagistically adroit. These are outstanding poems.”
—Globe and Mail
“In the poems’ accentual, lightly metered stanzas we are made conscious of time passing, the body aging, and those quiet moments outside time … understated and moving.”
“[Sanger’s] poems are tender and often funny. Sometimes arch, sometimes bemused, he is a humane observer of daily life … Throughout Dark Woods, his cleverness and verbal mischief enliven traditional forms.”
“Spectacular … Sophisticated metrical sense, teasing wit and limitless linguistic resources … The real thing: an original poet of rare talent.”
“Very accomplished … [Sanger] writes in a voice that is all his own, and its groundtone is a cleverly, progressively sophisticated one which is never merely adroit.”
—Journal of Canadian Poetry