“Dread. And joy.” Those are the emotions that acclaimed poet and novelist Steven Price feels when he sits down to begin a new work. Lucky readers experience only the joy on encountering the finished product. Formally sophisticated, psychologically probing, deeply felt, and frequently cathartic, Steven’s writing richly deserves the praise that critics have bestowed on it.

His first book, a tour-de-force poetic biography of Harry Houdini called The Anatomy of Keys, won the Gerald Lampert Award and was a Globe and Mail Book of the Year.

His 2011 debut novel, Into That Darkness, explored the aftermath of an imagined earthquake, laying bare both the horror of natural disaster and the complicated, often surprising human reactions that arise in its wake. Shortlisted for the Ethel Wilson prize, Into That Darkness is “a superb novel,” says Michelle Berry in The Winnipeg Review. “Brilliant…compelling, and real,” adds Robert J. Wiersema in the National Post.

Steven’s highly anticipated second poetry collection, Omens in the Year of the Ox, draws together moments both contemporary and historical, ranging from Herodotus to Augustine of Hippo, and from a North American childhood to Greek mythology. In musical, sonorous verse that owes a debt to Gerard Manley-Hopkins, Steven investigates the darker regions of the human heart. “Far-reaching in its philosophical inquiries…[this book is] absolutely awe-inspiring in its imagery,” says writer Candace Fertile.

Born and raised in British Columbia, Steven still lives there with his wife, the novelist Esi Eduygan. He teaches writing at the University of Victoria.

Website: www.brickbooks.ca/?tag=omens-in-the-year-of-the-ox