The Book

Slow planetary rotation, the push and pull of the moon, a Book–Paul Pearson’s debut collection of poems lays before readers a mapping and re-mapping of the familiar systems of order we rely on to survive the human experience. Reflecting on the principles set down by both Galileo and the Church, Lunatic Engine directs our gaze to the heavens, to the childhood home, to the womb, to the quiet moments of our daily lives to contemplate what comfort is offered by doctrines when staring down the barrel of birth, death, and everything in between.

Cover of Lunatic Engine featuring a close up of Jupiter's Great red Spot

Some kind words about the book:

Lunatic Engine is a book of orbits, of wayward paths traced around the gravitational bodies of childhood, parenthood, marriage, religion, art, and science. These are inventive poems in which ninjas fight Dutch elm disease, eyelashes are keys to understanding aerodynamics, and children free angels from river ice. At once moving and heady, Paul Pearson has written a remarkable book that will keep you looking over your shoulder into the heavens.

—Adam Dickinson

The Lunatic Engine of Paul Pearson’s dynamic first book pulses & revs across many different ‘scapes: the conflict between science & religion, a subtly personal exploration of how one comes to terms with such, especially as a parent, a vision of the world as it is & as it might be. This engine takes readers to the moons of Jupiter & to the poet’s backyard, stepping delicately through a forest of footnotes turning into new poems, & pushing the lyric into new configurations along the way. Both theologically & scientifically attuned & emotionally acute, Lunatic Engine torques its power with subtle grace.

—Douglas Barbour

[R]eading the poems … made me feel, as Emily Dickinson put it, “as if the top of my head were taken off.”

—Dava Sobel

It has been a crazy few weeks since Lunatic Engine launched on October 30th. I want to thank you for tuning in to the launch, for buying a book and/or for reading or viewing some of the other online attention the book has been getting. I’ve been sharing links to all this awesomeness on my social media channels. For those of you not on social media, and for those who may have missed a post, here is a roundup of links to the blogs and websites which have given Lunatic Engine so much love since its launch.

Turnstone Press has posted the full video of my conversation with Dava Sobel, moderated by Alice Major. Part of this conversation we included in the book launch, the full video of which will be posted soon.

Reading 2 poems on rob mclennan’s “periodicities blog”

I answer a few questions on Emil Tiedmann’s “I Heart Edmonton Blog”

I had the honour of being the subject of Episode 77 of Sam Illingworth’s fantastic podcast, “The Science of Poetry”

A fun schmooze with Lee Ellen on her Facebook page “Schmoozing with Poets”

I “slip into poetry” with my reading list on the 49th Shelf blog

If you haven’t had a chance to pick up a copy of the book yet, what are you waiting for? For those of you in Edmonton, I encourage you to buy the book from Audrey’s. They offer both curbside pickup and delivery and may even have one or two signed copies kicking around. Order now at

Then drop me a DM or an email (my email address is in the book if you don’t already have it) and we can arrange to meet somewhere in town, with masks, and I can sign your book and we can say hi in person. I am dying to see you!

For those of you who don’t live in Edmonton, I encourage you to buy the book at your local independent book store. Barring that, it is available at all major online retailers. I also have a limited number of copies available that I can personalize and mail to you for the low, low price of $20. Again send me a DM or an email.

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