A Private Mythology


Ekstasis Editions,
Montreal, 2009
78 pp.

A Private Mythology is Stephen Morrissey’s ninth book of poetry. Morrissey’s body of work is an important part of the rich poetic tradition of English-speaking Quebec writers. Stephen Morrissey is a poet of the various ways in which family experience manifests itself, whether in love, in conflict, or in the generations of a family’s history. Ancestors, the human psyche, salvation through self-revelation, life’s spiritual dimension: these are all themes and concerns in his poetry. For Morrissey, writing poetry is the expression of his life-long journey to meaning and redemption.

Critical praise for A Private Mythology

Morrissey’s writing is almost minimalist at times, and the conversational, unadorned quality of his verse gives his voice the sincerity of an eyewitness. These poems are rich in beauty and soft in voice, and it is their carefully muted splendour that gives Morrissey’s poetry its surprising power.
—David R. Pitt, The Bull Calf Review

In A Private Mythology, Stephen Morrissey writes poems that are obliquely confessional while delightfully clothed in the subterfuge of metaphor... Here is a poet who writes simple words using novel figures but in cadences loaded with quiet aural effects that carry their own peculiar power.
—Gillian Harding-Russell, Freefall Magazine

The cosmopolitan city of Montreal has been the inspiring venue... Morrissey, with his sustained contribution over the years, returns to his roots... The poems are pearls, organic, developing; formidable works, in and of themselves.
—Anne Burke,

The most interesting sequence is “The Great Year,” which reflects Morrissey’s long interest in astrological signs...
—Bert Almon, The Montreal Review of Books