amongst books

amongst books

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Spring Poetry I'm Excited About


White Piano poetry by Nicole Brossard translated by Robert Majzels and Erin Moure (Coach House Books)
(Piano blanc, 2011)
Brossard's boundary blurs are one of the reasons I like her work, but I also find it so lyrical & unusual. I relate to the sensuality of her work, its emotion, her use of colour & texture. Her portraits of desire.  i am also fascinated by translations & this book, along with many of Brossard's other works, is translated by the excellent translator duo Robert Majzels and Erín Moure.

In an interview in Ms. Magazine, she talks about the role of poetry & we are so sympatico, I feel encouraged…
"The French poet René Daumal wrote that: “Prose tells you something, poetry does something to you.” I write with “the emotion of the thought and the thought of emotion.” Both of them need each other to propel language into a new dimension. Poetry is a language that brings you somewhere else. You cannot negotiate or argue with a poem, it takes you or not. If you like it then it will bring you as far as your imagining dreaming being can go or will allow itself to go. Poetry is definitely a place where you have to let go of “straight” meaning. It dismisses the usual, the obvious and the norm. Poetry is made of intuitive certitudes shattering language before reentering in it with the subliminal consequence that meaning is being renewed on the side of life, for short or long term."

The Small Nouns Crying Faith by Phil Hall (Book Thug)
I haven't read all of Phil Hall's books & chapbooks but every time I do, I engage with his work. my favourite book of his is The Little Seamstress (Pedlar Press, 2010) for the unique & powerful wordplay "Her tongue could butter lust with regret"
Hall's poems often make you think about something in a different way "skepticism inefficient as a rose". the poems are often very visual & painterly. in some ways I see his work as becoming quieter, more meditative, more personal than before. I enjoy watching the evolution of his work & am glad that there will be another book of his to accompany me in my urban rambles this spring, to drown out the cacophony of traffic & construction noise.

Fur(l) Parachute by Shannon Maguire (BookThug)
I've read all three of her chapbooks & enjoyed them. there's amusing language play, crazy big piles of juxtapositions, a frenetic pace to her writing that is refreshing. when she reads, she's so alive & full of joy. I suspect fur(l) parachute will be an effervescent collection.

When This World Comes to an End By Kate Cayley (Brick Books)
I'm intrigued by the premise of this book described over at the BB site:

"Kate Cayley’s is a mind both studious and curious, deeply attuned to the question “what if?” What if Nick Drake and Emily Dickinson met in the afterlife? What if a respected physician suddenly shrank to the size of a pea? What if the blind twins in a Victorian photograph could speak to us? What if we found another Earth orbiting another sun?// Cayley draws on her experience as a playwright to create vividly engaging voices and characters ranging from the famous to the infamous to the all-but-anonymous. With exquisite pacing and striking imagery she draws us into the gaps in history, invites us to survey its wonders, both real and imaginary."

I am an imagination junkie, always looking for work that captivates my thirsty imagination. this sounds like it might do so. from googling around & reading the bio, I've learned that a) Cayley is a playwright, which intrigues me. To me theatre & poetry suit one another, could easily be one genre. the work that I see from the book seems very visual, very sensual. 

also in an interview with Open Book Toronto, we learn that Cayley is a fairy tale person. this pleases me too. as I love & always did love fairy tales.

"Thinking about Snow White again while reading it to her — it brings home all over again how dark and terrible that story really is. When the wicked Queen is made to dance in red-hot shoes until she falls down dead, that’s a world without forgiveness or redemption, pre-Christian in a sense, in a way that the beautiful fairytales of Anderson or Oscar Wilde aren’t. Anderson and Wilde have a complicated relationship to the “Christian virtues,” tempered so much by their humour and wonderful irony, but in the real old stuff it just isn’t there. Nothing but wickedness and vengeance and just desserts all the way down. So that has always fascinated me. That darkness."

sounds like a kindred spirit to me.

there are likely other spring poetry collections of note, but these are the three that spring to mind (groan!) at the moment. if you are excited about a new poetry collection coming out this spring, let me know. I'll add it to my list.

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