The Human Shore is an accomplished collection of poems both grittily real and spiritual, the follow-up to Russell Thornton's critically acclaimed House Built of Rain. Whether describing a tidal wave, a train yard, or the ravaging effects of a wildfire, Thornton's work is arresting and masterful. The poet covers a wide variety of places and subjects, including a woman and her child in Thessaloniki, rats in a basement, a BC river "grind[ing] mountains down to tears" and catacombs in Lima, where "human corpses were bulldozed / tumbling over and under one another like adult rag dolls." Barry Dempster has called Thornton's poems "expansive, exquisitely detailed, eloquently transformative" and Patrick Lane deems them "impeccable in their craft." By turns elegant and shocking--and often both at once--The Human Shore, promises to leave an indelible mark on Canadian poetry.