National Animal

Derek Webster

National Animal, Derek Webster’s second book of poetry, inhabits a wider public space than his acclaimed debut Mockingbird. In poems that extend beyond the biographical toward the political, Webster’s quiet, sharp-eyed narrator—a man “tripping / my way forward, trying to lead my own life”—watches history being erased in favour of more socially palatable ideas and comforting self-portraits. Uncompromising and substantial, National Animal explores our “civic moment” where "birds sing oblivion / estranged from all things," and meditates, in a final image-rich sequence, on our place in a science-based cosmos.

Signal Editions
Poetry 2024


National Animal does what all great poetry is supposed to; it converts everyday superabundant materials, whether holy or common, into a tangible picture, one that resonates at the heart of what it means to be a Canadian.” -Samuel Wise, Montreal Guardian

Derek Webster’s Mockingbird (2015) was a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Award for best first book of poems in Canada. He received an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis, where he studied with Carl Phillips, and was the founding editor of Maisonneuve magazine. He lives in Montreal and Toronto.

Other books by Derek Webster: Mockingbird
7.5" x 5"
ISBN13: 9781550656619

CDN $13.99

Trade paperback
80 pp 7.5" x 5"
ISBN13: 9781550656572

CDN $19.95
US & International
US $16.95