Isabel Huggan, Ottawa
Isabel Huggan in Ottawa some years ago (photo D. Martens)

The summer solstice poem comes, surprisingly to those familiar with her fiction and prose, from Isabel Huggan, who has been writing poetry over the past few years. Together with two poets she met in France (Sharon Black and Lucy Wadham), she published poems in a small book called June Stones in 2014. Huggan’s “Poems From the Empty Bench” appeared in The New Quarterly (TNQ) in 2013. Nor has she abandoned her prose: in the current summer issue of TNQ she has an essay called “Letters in the Attic.” Forthcoming in TNQ is her essay called “Three-Person Poetry Collaboration” about the writing of the “stones.” Kim Jernigan has selected her essay “Ride Away To Boston” for the new anthology from a series in TNQ called Falling in Love WIth Poetry.

From her house in the foothills of the Cévennes, where she has lived since 1998, Huggan teaches for the Humber School for Writers and offers a writer’s retreat — note the apostrophe, it’s for one person at a time. The retreat at Mas Blanc has provided several writers with a week or two of silence in which to focus on their work but will not be open again until the spring of 2017.

The following poem is from June Stones (November 2014), copyright Sharon Black, Isabel Huggan, Lucy Wadham.


The tournesols are turning
their big sunny heads
as if they’re all watching
the conductor’s baton —
a field of boy sopranos,
faces scrubbed and bright,
singing in unison
some wild pagan hymn.

© Isabel Huggan

Le Mas Blanc
Le Mas Blanc

Further Reading

Posted by Debra Martens

author, editor

One Comment

  1. Lovely Poem. Happy Solstice to all. When are you back in Canada, Debra?

    Liked by 1 person

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