Cover image for I left nothing inside on purpose : poems / Stevie Howell.
I left nothing inside on purpose : poems / Stevie Howell.
Publication Information:
Toronto : McClelland & Stewart, 2018.

Physical Description:
66 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
819.16 HOW Book Adult General Collection

On Order



Poems of stringent aesthetic demands and volcanic emotional release make up Stevie Howell's wondrous I left nothing inside on purpose . These poems--bewildering in their linguistic beauty--verge on prayer in their intense plea to be truly seen by another, a sort of devotional sequence addressing the psychological construct of attachment. Can we change? Has anyone ever changed? Does it matter? Lives marred by injury and violence, both physical and psychic, emerge in the book as meditations on trust, endurance, faith, destruction, and love. Howell's voice combines ferocious intimacy and moral rigour with precision and compassion.

The Hawai'ian surf, the neuropsychologist's lab, the deliriums of social media, and the recovery room. From geology to theology, lyric pain to the contemplative mind of the quasi-saint, I left nothing inside on purpose is a deeply affecting, glittering analysis of who we are when we claim to be ourselves in the world.

Author Notes

Stevie Howell is an Irish-Canadian writer editor. Stevie's work has appeared in Prairie Schooner, The Michigan Quarterly Review, Gigantic Sequins, BOAAT, Prelude, The Cossack Review. Stevie Howell is the poetry editor at This Magazine, is an MFA candidate at NYU.

Table of Contents

I welcomed the wound &p. 1
Attachmentp. 2
Repetitionp. 4
Staying is nowherep. 8
Hollow all the way downp. 10
In the heartp. 17
Birding in Wolfvillep. 18
Never saw a wild thing feel sorry for itselfp. 21
Did ... did a malachite write thisp. 24
In the gutter, under the moonp. 25
As a childp. 27
Notes on not being able to have a babyp. 30
Embryonicp. 36
Trigger warning for a course in developmental psychologyp. 38
Steven's echop. 40
Only poem about highschoolp. 43
A séancep. 45
Talking w/humans is my only way to learnp. 46
The Perseidsp. 47
To the husbandp. 50
Life is not about what you learn, really, but what you rememberp. 52
Summerhill liquor storep. 53
Inflorescencep. 54
Non-attachmentp. 58
The long hallp. 60
Notesp. 63
Acknowledgementsp. 65