All posts by Todd Besant

About Todd Besant

Todd Besant is an author, editor, publisher, reader, introvert, secret blogger, stargazer, freethinker, powerlifter, kitchen dancer, and car singer. He is a novice iPhoneographer and is keen to enhance his skills and dip his fingers into Lomography. He is overly fond of fine pencils, cool notebooks, pocket knives, waxed canvas shoulder bags, Moscot eyeglasses, coffee, bourbon, flat caps, clothing for shorter men, and men’s grooming products–especially pomades and beard oils and balms. Todd is taller online, comprehensively skeptical, and as analogue as possible under the circumstances. He is a settler on Turtle Island. Todd lives on Treaty 1 Land that is the territories of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene Peoples and the Traditional Homeland of the Métis Nation, in Winnipeg, MB, a city carpet tacked to the still damp clay bed of a proglacial lake created during the Holocene Glacial Retreat.

So Many Thanks

Thank you to everyone who attended the Zoom launch of Searching for Signal. I truly appreciate the support of Winnipeg’s literary community.

Special thanks to my “co-launchers” James Scoles (The Trailer) and Caroline Wong (Primal Sketches) and to Charlene Diehl, Director of the Thin Air/Winnipeg International Writers Festival, for keeping us in order and asking insightful questions about our collections.

Bringing a book to life takes many hands and I especially appreciate the work of my publisher Karen Haughian, my editor Clarise Foster, and Ashley Brekelmans for managing the launch and other marketing initiatives.

The event was recorded and will soon be available online for viewing.

Searching for Signal is available at many book retailers and online direct from Signature Editions.

Cayer views the world in complex and unusual ways.”

Now Available!

Searching for Signal

A new poetry collection by Lori Cayer

$17.95, April 2021
96 pages, 978-1773240916
Signature Editions

Searching for Signal is a long poem that bears witness to the quotidian, disorienting shifts of grief as a father makes his way toward his death over three seasons.

This is mourning conducted in situ, the gift of observing one man quietly taking his leave and the impacted hole it leaves behind. The language is a mix of narrative lyric and fragmentary breath-spaced verse; the silences are his private silences, alluding to memory, family trauma, and shame. The hunter, the gatherer who never stopped trying for epiphanies, a daughter engaged in the same effort, frankly facing the span of a swift human lifetime that may pass without revelation or resolution.

If there is redemption, it is in the daughter bringing clarity to the physical condition of living and dying and the emotional intricacies of existence.

Order Searching for Signal at McNally Robinson Booksellers Indigo/Chapters, or Amazon.ca
Also available direct from

what do you say?

                   when I throw a wide net

of talking

           hoping to catch the scaled skin

           of something to hold

what do you think about?

                           all day

now books

now movies

have lost their meaning

                          nothing

                                     you say

                                               hours of

                               your silence

                non-reflective

Searching for Signal left me breathless. This long poem has nothing — and everything — to do with my or your father.

All of Cayer’s unflinching, spare language, the heft of the silence, is “chokecherry rhubarb when you bit down.” Light a candle in mourning, in celebrations. Set it in the window while you read. Contemplate the depth of “repeating what we don’t know / came before.”

Reflect on your calendar.

Nora Gould

banging at the locked doors

(town)
(so small)

she sent you to live in the locked cellar

for a while fetching her potatoes

was unsettling

your cot and raggedy blankets down there

you were that father

trenched

unspoken

buffering detonations

tornado word hurlings

this is pattern recognition

is gene pool

unsubmerged

About Lori Cayer

Searching for Signal is Lori Cayer’s fifth poetry collection.

Her previous books are Mrs Romanov–which was shortlisted for the Lansdowne Prize for Poetry/Prix Lansdowne de poésie, Dopamine Blunder, Attenuations of Force–also shortlisted for the Lansdowne Prize for Poetry/Prix Lansdowne de poésie. Her first collection, Stealing Mercury, was a finalist for the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award and the winner of the Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book in Manitoba.

Lori is a past winner of  the John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer.

She is co-founder of the Lansdowne Prize for Poetry/Prix Lansdowne de poésie and was a poetry editor for Contemporary Verse 2.

Lori has lived her whole life on the now verdant bed of a glacial lake.