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Chores, Poems - Maggie Burton

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This semi-autobiographical collection of poetry offers an historical snapshot of domestic life that views women’s labour, relationships, and sexuality through a feminist lens.

Chores is about families and the domestic work of settler women on the island of Newfoundland. A comedy and a tragedy in equal parts, Chores explores everyday life with all its pleasures and suffering.

The simple, indirect, and accessible language of Chores creates vivid, recurring images of food, household objects, body parts, and animals. The poems scrutinize the physical and social details of domestic labour and of the conditions in which women did, and continue to do, the work of sustaining life.

The Author


Originally from Brigus, Ktamqkuk, Maggie Burton currently lives in St. John’s with her blended family, including four young children, a plethora of small animals, and her partner, Michael. Trained as a classical violinist, Maggie is a multi-disciplinary performer with a background in arts administration and music education. Maggie started writing poetry after having kids at the age of twenty. Currently, she dedicates her time to community-oriented work and writing. Her poems explore family, folklore, feminism, and sexuality.


Chores are universal. Unless one has a housekeeper or maid under their employ, its a necessary day-to-day grind. We all have to-do lists to tackle on a regular basis, just as our ancestors did, and theirs were even longer than ours. But as Maggie Burton proves through Chores, a tenacious attitude is what makes the difference between a home well-maintained, and a home only reluctantly maintained. There is beauty and meaning to be found in chores if one simply wipes the sweat away from ones forehead and peers closer. Past the dust and grime and potato peelings and breadcrumbs, there is history. - E.R Zarevich

Item Publish Date: 2023 / 04 / 01