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by Bruce Hunter

Bruce Hunter's 11th book, from Italy 

Galestro (2023)

Galestro, a new release from Bruce Hunter
"[A]n important book by an extraordinary writer in the top tier of contemporary Canadian poets." - Marsha Barber, author of Kaddish for My Mother.

"This captivating collection of poems takes readers on a journey through the human experience, exploring themes of love, loss, and the passage of time with stunning imagery and masterful language." - PugliaLive - Online Regional Information Newspaper


Discover the latest release from poet and author Bruce Hunter - Galestro

This stunning collection of poetry takes readers on a journey through the beauty and complexity of life through vivid imagery and lyrical language. The book takes its name from a sandy, mineral-rich soil found in the Chianti vineyards of Tuscany, which gives the region's wines a unique flavor. In Bruce's own words, "Galestro is the essence, the grain of life." Bruce's new release, published in Italy by I Quaderni del Bardo Edizioni, is an ode to the essence of life itself. 

Attention all poetry enthusiasts! The highly esteemed Canadian poet, Bruce Hunter, has just released his latest work, Galestro, and it's a must-read. This captivating collection of poems takes readers on a journey through the human experience, exploring themes of love, loss, and the passage of time with stunning imagery and masterful language. Inspired by the unique Galestro soil of Tuscany, where Hunter spends much of his time, Galestro is a poetic masterpiece that is sure to leave a lasting impression. Visit PugliaLive to learn more about this latest release from one of Canada's most accomplished poets and discover the magic of Galestro for yourself.

Galestro is a collection of poems that explores the beauty and complexity of life through vivid imagery and lyrical language. It touches on themes of love, loss, aging, and the natural world, inviting readers on a journey through the Italian landscape and beyond.


“In this, his eleventh book, award-winning writer Bruce Hunter is in his prime, creating poetry that’s bold, sensuous and rich as the Italian soil he extols… Quite simply, this is an important book by an extraordinary writer in the top tier of contemporary Canadian poets.” - Marsha Barber, Toronto-based poet, professor, and author of Kaddish for My Mother.

"GALESTRO is a wonderful book. I loved every page. The poems here are the work of an extremely fine wordsmith, a very genuine lyrical imagination. More, they're passionate and clear and utter Russell Thornton, Canadian Poetwith great strength and care what it means to be human. I can't recommend this collection enough." - Russell Thornton, Canadian Poet.

“His poems are tributes to the environment of being and are deeply human… His observational detail is unparalleled as he speaks to aging, love, culture, the earth, and mostly the real beating heart at the centre of it all.” - Dr. Micheline Maylor-Kovitz, Calgary-based poet, professor, and author of The Bad Wife.

"Approaching Bruce Hunter’s poems is like listening to the warm, rich voice of a sincere friend. The guy who has been through a lot in life and who by virtue of this great experience and humanity is able to find the right word, the wise motto, the image that surprises and heartens. A poetry in many respects therapeutic, empathic... There is above all a lot of Italy, right from the title, which recalls the substance of the rock and the fragrant scents of wine. A hymn to our country, to its art, to the beauty of the landscapes and people, to the taste of the fruits of the earth. And it is here, in Italy, between Tuscany and Salento, that we welcome Bruce and offer him our best hospitality through translation, hoping to render him a good service as he generously renders it to us readers and interpreters.” - Andrea Sirotti, Florence-based teacher, writer, editor and translator of Galestro.

"Bruce Hunter shows in Galestro how in sad moments, we seek out sacred places; what we have forgotten, and what we learned from the elders. To discover with surprise that we are already the ingredients of these sacred places, the lands that permeate us, our stellar origins. And the arc and tension between these two realities are pacified and fulfilled when in our dreams we visit the highest point between earth and the sky, so we can drink from the clouds. I love this book. Powerful, full of places and jumps in time and memories. With a lot of Italy and a lot of Canada. And all my memories seem to match so much with his. I am proud and thankful to have helped with some of these translations." - Sandro Pecchiari Trieste-based poet, anthologist, author of Alle spalle delle cose.

“The poems in Bruce Hunter’s Galestro remind us that we live in the space where opposites meet and connect, between earth and sky, youth and age, ancient stories and present plagues, first rain and poisoned waters, the living and the dead. He explores the timeless questions, like boyhood, married love, and the meaning of an individual life by evoking the essence of the terroir of his places of the heart: Alberta, Tuscany, and the Orkney islands. And fittingly, each poem in this beautiful and wise book faces (and is doubled) by Andrea Sirotti’s skilled Italian translation.” - Caterina Edwards, Edmonton-based novelist, author of The Sicilian Wife.


L’Ottavo recensione di Donato Di Poce
By Donato Di Poce

When one thinks of contemporary Canadian poetry, Margaret Atwood, Leonard Cohen and Mark Strand immediately come to mind. With this second publication in Italy, "Galestro" Translation by Andrea Sirotti, we must rightfully add Bruce Hunter.


His poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction have appeared in over 80 international blogs, magazines and anthologies in Italy, Canada, China, India, Romania, the United Kingdom and the United States. Bruce is the author of six books of poetry.

Born in Calgary, Alberta, in 1952, Bruce was deafened as an infant and suffered from low vision for much of his adult life. He grew up in the working-class neighborhood of Ogden, in the shadow of Esso's Imperial Oil Refinery and the now-decommissioned Canadian Pacific Railway's (C.P.R.) Ogden Shops. In early adolescence, Bruce discovered poetry as a compass to navigate in a chaotic world like that of hearing. In poetry he could hear everything – and be heard.

Known in Italy for his publications in the magazine (17/10/2022) and the publication last year again for the Lecce publisher, I Quaderni del Bardo “A Life in Poetry, Poems selected from Two O'clock Creek , QdB, Lecce, 2022.”

As the author himself forewarns us, in his foreword to the book, “Galestro (ɡaˈlɛ.stro) is a sandy soil, rich in minerals, found in the Chianti vineyards in Tuscany, which gives the wines of the region a unique flavour. Star matter." And Galestro is precisely the title of the book we are talking about.

A book that teaches us first of all the ability to listen to the world and the essence of things and then the importance of poetry for man. Bruce gives us micro-stories in verse of his life and his verses become "Hooks for the sky", the title of his poem of which I transcribe the incipit:

Hooks for the sky
And now, mid-week,mid-life,
with my brothers and their children
at the foot of the hills in our hometown.
With our brilliant sky hooks ‒ a name
really appropriate for these kites:
a sky full of flying noise
in the scornful wind
on the Rockies ‒ a red box,
a flying blue carp and warrior dragon tails.

Each of them goes fishing for light,
linked by thread between existence and dream
fishing for celestial fish or wandering angels
lost in the lure of the clouds…”

Bruce is a poet and a man always connected to the smallest vibrations of life and to the cosmic roads that connect us to it, and he warns us in one of his poems:

“Here, in this fabulous street
west of hipster, south of money,
I am never alone. Deaf man
but not silenced, always connected.

There is no shortage of touching and visionary verses as in the poem dedicated to the painter Georgia O'Keeffe:

White Rose, Abstraction (1927) Georgia O'Keeffe

I have never forgotten the rose
in that art gallery years ago.
Blooms voluminous and inviting.
Painted by a brush dipped in clouds. Velvet entrance
and escapism. As big as a table top.
O'Keeffe sees as I see. And as I do in my work,
I open my palms
to cradle her. Until a guard warns me.
Gentleman. Please. Don't touch the paintings.
For a gardener, a rose is not
a rose is a rose is a rose is a rose.*
It is all in all. A tidal curl.…”

Bruce loves Italy very much and in a beautiful poem entitled "There is a road" where you can enjoy the rolling hills of Tuscany, he reveals the metaphor of poetry as a road:

“…On the road from everywhere to everywhere,
as Fabio the poet says.
I have always traveled in my dreams.
And dreams where I can see and hear everything.
The road that always goes home, wherever I am.…”.

And the road returns in the other poem that gives the book its title:

This spring in Tuscany
on the dirt roads,
on that white road we travel on
a country lane, next to a stone wall.…”

It's still:


“Historical places that I have wanted to visit all my life.
The Romans kept their wine in caves
and the Etruscans too, their ruined tombs behind us.
The ancient is recent here and around us.”

Bruce tells us with his verses that life is like the earth, matter of love, listening…

Donato Di Poce was born in Sora in 1958 but has lived in Milan since 1982. He is a poet, art critic, writer of aphorisms and photographer. Public attention comes with remarkable interest with the publication of the beautiful Berlin Notebook, a collection of five portfolios. He is the author of numerous poetry collections, curator of art exhibitions. An artist at 360°. His last, in order of time, poetic work is Lampi di Verità, published by iQdB editions of Stefano Donno, in the series edited by the poet and literary critic Nicola Vacca.


The author is grateful to the editors of these presses and journals in which the poems first appeared in their earlier incarnations: 

In Canada, Canadian Poetries, Caitlin Press, Freefall, Juniper, Thistledown Press, Oolichan Books; in the U.S., Sleepycat Press; in the U.K. Lotharian Poetry Journal; in Italy, El Ghibli, iQdB edizoni, Interno Poesia, Laboratori Poesia, Quanto Basta.

Much gratitude for the skilled and beautiful translations of Angela Caputo, Angela D’Ambra, Roberto Palitti, Sandro Pecchiari, and Andrea Sirotti, who all helped give these poems life in Italy. Much gratitude to Roberta Niccacci of Deruta, Perugia, Italy, for her charming sharing of the mythical story of Cortona. And from the bottom of my mended heart, deep gratitude to my friends and family in Canada, Italy and elsewhere for their generosity and support of what writers do. And by no means least, I thank the inimitable Crystal Mackenzie and Dr. Micheline Maylor-Kovitz, intrepid listeners to everything I suggest.

Fabio Strinati (born 1983, San Saverino, Marche, Italy) is a composer, musician and poet. I’m deeply honoured by his poem and his permission to share it here.


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