nancy viva davis halifax

A headshot of artist nancy viva davis.

nancy viva davis halifax was born on the north shore of New Brunswick. at heart, she is a maritimer, though she currently lives in Toronto with an assemblage of sparkley wonderfuls. trained as a conceptual artist, her praxis is grounded in that history. she is an artist, feminist, and critical disability scholar oriented toward body/s, illness, disability, and difference with a strong commitment to imagine and articulate what flickers at the threshold.


Prologue for poems

These poems were written to address the ongoing extremity of suffering within Canada. These poems were written alongside my experience of witnessing homelessness, poverty, disability, and chronic illness on the streets and within women’s emergency shelters in Canada. They are a shabby lot wherein live my historical and contemporary understandings of the politics of poverty, the lack of housing in the Canadian landscape, the systemic violences sustained by bodies at the margins. The poems do not explain or rationalize these lacks, but present emotional responses, a multiplicity of narrative truths, not facts, through which the poet as witness provides an account. The poems rely on imagination – my imagination and that of the reader. They do not present truths, these poems, but fragments found in chance passing. The work is not rational, logical – it lies in a domestic, a plain cloth.

It is my hope that in these poems the people and the sites of homelessness become more – they become sites for and of memory with all of its failures. I would like to acknowledge the women, men and others who live and die rough in Canada – there is a need for an audience for your lives. There is a need for a cultural response.


To purchase a full edition of Nancy’s poems titled Hook in hard copy published by McGill­Queens University, click here or press shift + enter:

A headshot of artist nancy viva davis.