Dionne Brand's hypnotic, urgent long poem - her first book of poetry in four years, is about the bones of fading cultures and ideas, about the living museums of spectacle where these bones are found. At the centre of Ossuaries is the narrative of Yasmine, a woman living an underground life, fleeing from past actions and regrets, in a perpetual state of movement. She leads a solitary clandestine life, crossing borders actual (Algiers, Cuba, Canada), and timeless. Cold-eyed and cynical, she contemplates the periodic crises of the contemporary world. This is a work of deep engagement, sensuality, and ultimate craft from an essential observer of our time and one of the most accomplished poets writing today.
Modernist poet-painters Mina Loy and Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven had many friends in common (including Djuna Barnes and Marcel Duchamp), yet there is no record that the two ever met. Their non-relationship presents a curious "absent presence" in modernist history.
Zelazo weaves lines of poetry by both women into an imaginary conversation, exploring the way their work has been suppressed, stitched, spliced, and edited by male editors and arbiters of taste.
A NEW YORK TIMES BEST POETRY BOOK OF 2018
Snow, canoes, frozen ponds, lonely conifers . . . Dark Woods takes the motifs and landscape of a Canadian childhood and examines their place in a world of smartphones and overflowing inboxes. The result, Sanger's first book in 16 years, is a striking new collection full of mysteries and reassessments, wordplay, slang, and sonnets, meditations on parenthood and the "cracks in the granite" those urges that won't go away, and the people who have.
In these thoughtful, yet playful poems, Belford builds a poetry experience the curious reader can open anywhere, read, and read on. Although the phrasing of his lines is unusual, Ken Belford's poetry is not easily forgotten. It's not necessary to begin at the beginning or to read to the end to get a good sense of what this poet is about. Read a little, or read a lot; he's worth it.Ken Belford is a timber framer. He has managed a northern wood lot, from which he has milled his own lumber, carrying out most of the timbers for his buildings on his back. These thoughtful, yet playful poems, like his structures, tell of powerful connections artfully made, of an earned sense of how things work, and an intimate awareness of the cycle of all things.
Since its debut on YouTube, Tanya Davis's beautiful and perceptive poem "How to Be Alone," visually realized by artist and filmmaker Andrea Dorfman, has become an international sensation. In this edition of How to Be Alone, they have adapted the poem and its compelling illustrations for the page in a beautiful, meditative volume--a keepsake to treasure and to share.
From a solitary walk in the woods to sitting unaccompanied on a city park bench to eating a meal and even dancing alone, How to Be Alone, reveals the possibilities and joys waiting to be discovered when we engage in activities on our own. As she soothes the disquietude that accompanies the fear of aloneness, and celebrates the power of solitude to change how we see ourselves and the world, Tanya reveals how, removed from the noise and distractions of other lives, we can find acceptance and grace within.
For those who have never been by themselves or those who embrace being on their own, How to Be Alone encourages us to recognize and embrace the possibilities of being alone--and reminds us of a universe of joy, peace, and discovery waiting to unfold.
The least important man was a boy in the 1970s. He remembers clubhouses, plastic soldiers, swimming lessons, rocket launches, a grandfather's letters from World War I. Those days are long gone, however: now the least important man is grown up. He lives in the city. He suffers endless rush hours, he dreams of other places, he drinks cheap coffee and crosses streets and sees explosions on the TV news. But through it all he's still thinking about that old life, and wondering what it meant, and asking in his quiet way how he might reconcile two such transient worlds with each other.
The Least Important Man is the second collection from Gerald Lampert Prize-winning poet Alex Boyd: sober, self-sacrificing, and handsome, it's a book for those who want poetry to reassert its dignity and authority in everyday life.
Alex Boyd is the author of Making Bones Walk (Luna Publications 2007) and the winner of the Gerald Lampert Award. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.
Gil McElroy's Ordinary Time sets out to give shape to time from four different referents.Its first section, "Chain Home," preceded by a Spicer poem that perfectly captures the fearful ennui of the age, is both a childhood memory of growing up in the far-distant monitoring stations of the Cold War, like the Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line of the High Arctic where McElroy's father worked, and at the same time an unsettling history of the utter failures of these remote surveillance technologies to make "our" world either better known or reliably predictable. Its second section, counted out on the Julian calendar of classical antiquity, is prefaced by Merleau-Ponty's assertion that "the lived present holds a past and future within its thickness," and discovers that it is our experience of movement through space that makes us aware of the dimensions of time. Its third section works within the structure of the Anglican lectionary and its cycle of daily and weekly scriptures (called "propers"), offering nine "readings" of the days of the year not predetermined by canonical texts, to make manifest the arc of a complete year-long cycle of both "Sacred" and "Ordinary" time. Its final section is introduced by Stephen Hawking's observation that while we think of "time's arrow" as horizontal, "there's another kind of time in the vertical direction ... called imaginary time ... in a sense ... just as real, as what we call real time." Here, in what Charles Olson called the vertical act of creation, the poet turns back to the beginning of the book: the "dark stars" emitted by the half-lives of radioactive matter carry the reader back to the book's beginning, to the "reassuringly grey briefcases we jiggle over great distances" in our attempts to guarantee our security and our place in the world.
In a city ironically famous for its natural setting, the roving subject's gaze naturally turns upward, past the condo towers which frame the protected "view corridors" at the heart of Vancouver's municipally- guaranteed development plan. But look for the city, and one encounters "a kind of standing wave of historical vertigo, where nothing ever stops or grounds one's feet in free-fall."Murakami approaches the urban center through its inhabitants' greatest passion: real estate, where the drive to own is coupled with the practice of tearing down and rebuilding. Like Dubai, where the marina looks remarkably like False Creek, Vancouver has become as much a city of cranes and excavation sites as it is of ocean and landscape. Rebuild engraves itself on the absence at the city's center, with its vacant civic square and its bulldozed public spaces. The poems crumble in the time it takes to turn the page, words flaking from the line like the rain-damaged stucco of a leaky condominium. The city's "native" residential housing style now troubles the eye with its plainness, its flaunting of restraint, its ubiquity. What does it mean to inhabit and yet despise the "Vancouver Special"; to attempt to build poems in its style, when a lyric is supposed to be preciously unique, but similar, in its stanzas or "rooms," to other lyric poems? What does it mean to wake from a dream in which one buys a presale in a condo development--and is disappointed to have awoken? In the book's final section, the poems turn inward, to the legacy left by Murakami's father, who carried to his death the burden of the displaced and disinherited: the house seized by the government during World War II, having previously seized the land from its native inhabitants--a "mortgage" from which his family has never truly recovered.
Famous and celebrated since the 1960s for pushing the boundaries of language and representation in the creation of image as a site of both content and context, the world's leading sound, visual, concrete and performance poet, bill bissett, describes this book as "a novel with connekting pomes n essays."Having already extended the boundaries of orthography, syntax, grammar, punctuation, and diction to free the linguistic creation of meaning from the conventions of the spoken and the written word--often with arresting and astonishing results--bissett sets out in his newest work to free and rehabilitate genre from its traditional role of limiting the possibilities of meaning in language, to greatly expanding them. He accomplishes this without a deconstructive erasure of, but with an apposition of genres that expands even further the possibilities of creating meaning through composition. As such, bissett's novel is in effect a response, by demonstrative example, to Jacques Derrida's famous argument in Of Grammatology: that any investigation of meaning cannot escape the opposition or dialectic of speech and language central to the Western philosophical tradition. Against this tradition, bissett posits Gertrude Stein's modernist observation that: "Everything is the same except composition ..." None of which is to say that bill bissett's novel is a five-finger exercise in the realm of pure theory. Quite on the contrary, his interweaving of fact and fiction--what is considered the conventionally real with the imagined--has created a narrative for the reader that is redolent with surprise and discovery. The counterpoint of the "fictional" story of jimmee's search for his lost love mark, to the lives of the "real" characters of the "pomes n essays" with which it interacts, takes readers of this novel to entirely new and engaging understandings of that part of the human condition that is delightfully accessible through language.