Photo by Nadia Zheng

Gillian Sze

Gillian Sze is the author of multiple poetry collections. She has also written books for children, including The Night Is Deep and Wide (Orca Book Publishers, 2021), which was listed as one of the Best Books for Kids in 2021 by the New York Public Library. Her work has attained starred reviews from Quill & Quire, Publishers Weekly, and Kirkus Reviews and has been translated into Slovenian, French, Italian, Turkish, Hebrew, and Greek. Her latest collection of poems and essays, Quiet Night Think (ECW Press, 2022), explores the early shaping of a writer, the creative process, and motherhood. 

Quiet Night Think
Published by ECW Press

A prosimetrical collection that explores the early shaping of a writer, cultural and language gaps, identity, the creative process, and motherhood.

During the remarkable period of early parenthood, Sze’s new maternal role urges her to contemplate her own origins, both familial and artistic. Comprised of six personal essays, poems, and a concluding long poem, Quiet Night Think takes its title from a direct translation of an eighth-century Chinese poem by Li Bai, the subject of the opening essay. Sze’s memory of reading Li Bai’s poem as a child marks the beginning of an unshakable encounter with poetry. What follows is an intimate anatomization of her particular entanglement with languages and cultures.

In her most generically diverse book yet, Sze moves between poetry and prose, mother and writer, the lyrical and the autobiographical, all the while inviting readers to meditate with her on questions of emergence and transformation: What are you trying to be? Where does a word break off? What calls to us throughout the night?

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