University of Calgary
UofC Navigation

Throwing the Diamond Hitch

Submitted by davidsoa on Fri, 12/16/2016 - 4:51pm

Throwing the Diamond Hitch

Emily Ursuliak
978-1-55238-923-2 (Institutional PDF)
978-1-55238-924-9 (ePub)
978-1-55238-925-6 (mobi)
18.95 CAD / $18.95 USD
112 pages
17 Illustrations, photos
Brave & Brilliant
February 2017


About the Book: 

In 1951 two intrepid women, Phyllis and her best friend, Anne, set off on a journey from Victoria, British Columbia, to Red Deer, Alberta, and back again. Travelling first by 1927 MG Roadster to Alberta, and then on horseback on the way home, the journey took months and would test the women’s wits and resourcefulness at every turn. Phyl and Anne documented their adventures and the stories of the people they met along the way in a journal, which was passed down to author Emily Ursuliak, Phyl’s granddaughter. Throwing the Diamond Hitch—an inventive, poetic retelling of the Phyl and Anne’s journey—crackles like the starter of an old roadster, and kicks like a stubborn pack pony. Ursuliak employs a variety of poetic styles and approaches to capture the personality of the two women and the motley of characters they encountered on their trip. Ride along with Phyl and Anne, and discover how to throw the elusive diamond hitch.

Throwing the Diamond Hitch follows two young women on a rip-snorting adventure by antique roadster and horseback through the Rocky Mountains. Drawing on first-person accounts and photos preserved in Phyl and Anne’s co-written diary, Ursuliak constructs a poetic narrative of two astonishing women who smoke and drink their way through the mountains and who finish each other’s sentences. Ursuliak’s confident debut shows her eye for detail and ear for language. Her poems turn cowboy culture on its head.
-Monica Kidd, author of The Year of our Beautiful Exile

Throwing the Diamond Hitch is at once a play, a poetry book, a travel journal, a history, and a western. Knotting together these forms, Ursuliak uses the particular—her grandmother and best friend’s 1951 trip by roadster and horseback—to tell a timeless story of young women who refuse to be tied down by convention. Tough, tender, well-crafted and funny, this book poignantly captures the spirit of adventurous womanhood.
-Joan Crate, author of Black Apple

This is a stunning debut collection. Ursuliak’s thoughtfully crafted lines and the dance of space and movement within her poems are impressive. Fragments of photos and handwritten notes draw the reader into a tightly woven poetic and narrative tapestry. This fresh voice calls for a quiet reading and a listening ear.  
-Kim Fahner, 2016-2018 poet laureate for Sudbury, author of The Narcoleptic Madonna

About the Author(s): 

Emily Ursuliak writes both poetry and fiction. She holds an MA in English from the University of Calgary, and a passion for literacy and her chosen career, librarianship. She is the host and producer of CJSW’s literary radio show, Writer’s Block, where she interviews authors, records readings, and peers into the private libraries of Calgary book lovers. She calls Calgary, Alberta, home. Throwing the Diamond Hitch is her first book.