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Laurier Poetry

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Summary

“Litter. wreckage. salvage” is one of the first poems to signal Marlatt’s lifelong commitment to witnessing the stories of Steveston where, before the war, a Japanese-Canadian fishing community lived within the rhythms of salmon on the Fraser River delta. The poem also registers the young poet’s growing engagement with issues of gender and exploitation. These themes, as well as the theme of government-legislated dispossession in the wartime internment of Japanese-Canadians, continues through the Steveston poems “Ghost” and “Slave of the canneries.”

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