The Memoir Garden

The Memoir Garden

The Memoir Garden captures a wide range of expressions and experiences – from one woman who was told that she would never have a partner to another who held a large engagement party; from one man who recalled his father’s funeral to another who discovered his birth mother; from someone whose relatives no longer visit to someone else whose home is filled with friends.

But all these poems offer rare insights into lives that have too often been silenced. These voices are clamouring to be heard.

This poetry collection documents Emma Claire Sweeney’s Arts Council residency at Sunnyside Rural Trust.



“Emma captures the poetry of these lives with such grace and courage.  The voices make me think of E.M Forster’s ‘true aristocracy of the plucky and good’. In these voices I see how simply and directly to honor a meal, a friend, a bus ride to a known place, the honorable satisfaction of a job, the precious memory of a loss, the way something is known inexactly and yet cherished.”

Kim Stafford, American poet and essayist, and founder of the Northwest Writing Institute.