Dorothy Sjöholm:

why the telephone stopped ringing

Dorothy Sjöholm is the author of a self-published collection of poems and stories called Holding the Mirror and a poetry chapbook, Wait for the Final Explosion.

Her work has appeared in journals and anthologies in Canada, England and U.S.A., including The Antigonish Review, The Adirondack Review, Airforce, Cede, lichen, and Outlook Springs.

In 2015 Dorothy completed an MFA in Creative Writing at UBC where she studied under Susan Musgrave and Gary Geddes. Since then she has been leading weekly study and workshopping sessions in her home in Barrie.

CANADIAN ORDERS: $24.95 (hst + shipping included (within Canada)
why the telephone stopped ringing

UNITED STATES ORDERS:  $24.95 USD (includes shipping from Canada)
why the telephone stopped ringing


For each book sold at a launch or reading, $8.00 goes to either Youth Haven or The David Busby Centre. Youth Haven focuses on those between the ages of 16&25. Both organizations help vulnerable people living on the margins.

Kudos for why the telephone stopped ringing

Dorothy Sjöholm has come as close to writing a seamless novel in verse form, or extended narrative poem in many parts, as any I have read in years, including Robin Robertson’s The Long Take, recently shortlisted for the Booker Prize. At one point, her narrator references Earle Birney’s “David,” which is very appropriate, as both are touching studies of the ever-present weight of guilt in people’s lives, as we struggle with our many failures. And yet the poem’s triumph is that its subtleties and economies of form are a testament of hope and a reminder of the healing powers of art.
~ Gary Geddes, author of
What Does A House Want? and The Resumption of Play

The narrator’s search for a lost sister is at the heart of these masterful, poignant poems. I cannot think of another
collection that so powerfully probes the dynamics of a family relationship. There is a beautiful, troubled wisdom here, one that the reader will undoubtedly find curative.
~ Kenneth Sherman, author of
Wait Time: A Memoir of Cancer and Black River

Dorothy Sjöholm’s poems unravel like the skein of yarn she describes being wound into a woolen ball, the beginning
hidden inside. These indelible poems break down the walled city that is family — all the love, the pain, the regret and grief a body can survive. Each time I read this courageously radiant journey of a book I want to go back to the beginning
and begin again.
~ Susan Musgrave, author of
Origami Dove

In Dorothy Sjöholm’s long-awaited collection, why the telephone stopped ringing, we see, at last, the work of an exquisite craftsperson of the written word. Her poems are a delicate and engaging balance of personal experience, acute observation, wry irony, and humane connections to those she has encountered, known, and loved. Such a book as this is a gift to readers.
~ Bruce Meyer, author of
Dog Days and Oceans

Spanning many decades and several Canadian cities, tense with accidents and violence, why the telephone stopped ringing, is an enthralling free verse narrative poem in four sections (each beginning with a brilliant glosa) extended by brilliant prose-poems. Set on a rundown Ontario farm, where drudgery holds sway, the central story of conflicted twin sisters, sometimes desperately comic and tragic,
becomes an absorbing “riff on a longed-for existence.”
Dorothy Sjöholm expertly forges versions of a life fraught with dark shadows that hover over guilt-ridden or damaged selves. This is poetry that reads like an Alice Munro novella.
~ Keith Garebian, author of
Against Forgetting