ROSNAU, Laisha

Author Tags: Fiction, Poetry

Laisha Rosnau was born in Quebec in 1972. She grew up in British Columbia's Okanagan Valley. A limited edition chapbook of her poetry, Getaway Girl, was published by Greenboathouse Books in 2002. She lives in Vancouver.


Notes on Leaving (Nightwood, 2004) - poetry
Lousy Explorers (Nightwood, 2009) - poetry
The Sudden Weight of Snow (M&S $34.99) - novel 0-7710-7580-4
Pluck (Nightwood, 2014) - poetry - 978-0-88971-295-9

[BCBW 2009] "Fiction"

The Sudden Weight of Snow (M&S $34.99)

Welcome to a typical house party in Sawmill Creek, B.C. “The girl hiccuped. ‘Yeah, the f___ing couch is on fire! Jeff and Matt are using the fish tank to put it out.’ I pushed my way around her and into the living room, my socks soaking up water from the carpet. The couch was smoldering and bright green plastic plants clung limp to the furniture. No fish in sight but I imagined fins and tails pulsing against the upholstery.” A coming-of-age first novel. Rosnau graduated from the UBC Creative Writing program and lives in Vancouver. 0-7710-7580-4

[Spring 2003 BCBW]

Notes on Leaving
Press Release (2005)

Notes on Leaving, the debut poetry collection written by Laisha Rosnau and published by Nightwood Editions, has won the Acorn-Plantos Award for People’s Poetry.

“I was thrilled to find out that Notes on Leaving received the award,” says Laisha Rosnau. “I’ll admit, I was surprised as well since it was nominated in the company of books written by some of my favourite poets who are also more established. To be recognized for my first book of poetry is an absolute honour.

“I think many assume that poetry is best left in the realm of university departments or past centuries and that is something I would love to see change. When someone who doesn’t usually read poetry—a great aunt, a friend who is a scientist—reads my work and lets me know they enjoyed it and can relate to it, it is always a great compliment.”

Laisha Rosnau currently lives in Prince George, BC.

The language of Notes on Leaving is brusque, bright and instinctively fluid: lines and words flow and merge as naturally as they collide head-on. In the world-weary persona of someone who has always found herself on the run (“my mind was farther away than farm and field. . .”), and “prone to breakdowns / of all kins,” Rosnau energetically conveys sexually charged and angst-ridden desires to urgently abandon a small-town upbringing, among various other lives and identities.

She convincingly presents these primal urges as strikingly and sensuously familiar to us all, “tracing a route down your torso, thrumming south, / the highway swelling with each town, until / you round the last curve, a crescendo, and cross / the river to a place where the city meets itself.” Cutting through time zones that encompass the rural and urban, the remembered and the forgotten, Rosnau reminds us to “pay attention to your surroundings,” to “watch for potential roadkill,” and to “compare scars” along the way.

The Acorn-Plantos Award for People’s Poetry, formerly known as the Milton Acorn People’s Poetry Award, was established in 1987 and honours the memory and work of Canadian poets Milton Acorn and Ted Plantos. In life, Acorn worked as a fireman, freight handler and longshoreman and deemed himself a troubadour of the working class. He performed at coffee houses in his early career and wrote extensively from the 1950s up until his death in 1986. He was considered one of the most accessible Canadian literary figures of his time, often taking new poets under his wing, one of whom was Plantos. The award recognizes poetry written with the common reader in mind.

-- Nightwood Editions