Retail 2011: Brick Books

The second press up in the rotation this year is Brick Books. Brick led off last year, and now are batting second, in what I’d like to call the “Robbie Alomar” platoon.

Brick’s usual pattern is four in the spring and three in the fall. So ambitious. This is what’s fresh in 2011. Keep an eye out for these poets on the company’s new Audioboo profile.

Title: Girlwood
Author: Jennifer Still
Release Date: February
Collection: Second
Timespan Since Last Book: Six Years
Editor-Approved Bumfspeak: “A linguistically inventive exaltation, a wild ride down into the privacies, the here-and-goneness of girlhood. In Girlwood, Jennifer Still’s second collection, her poems come of age: they take the dare; they cross out of sapling and into maturity’s thicket. But the poems don’t leave the girl behind, they bring her along: as sylph, as raconteur, as witness, as pure, unstoppable bravado.” and also “Here, the mother figure is as vulnerable as the daughter, caged by domestic duty, by the fear that snakes through sexuality, the longing and the repulsion that accompany mortal desire.”
Blurbery: Daphne Marlatt says: “Haunting and powerful, an extraordinary sounding of female psyche.”
Google Pie: Here’s a poem of hers from the U. Sask online journal. And here’s another. Here’s a very adoring review Still wrote for Susan Holbrook’s Joy is So Exhausting in 2009.

Title: The truth of houses
Author: Ann Scowcroft
Release Date: March
Collection: Le Debut
Editor-Approved Bumfspeak: “At once wise and achingly at a loss, Ann Scowcroft’s The Truth of Houses is an elegant debut collection. While very intimate—even startlingly intimate at times—the voices of these poems are constantly taking a step backward, wrestling for a measure of distance and perspective. Reading them, we eavesdrop on the uncovering of a personal vernacular that might allow the present to be better lived; we have the sense of overhearing a particular yet eerily familiar inner struggle—a struggle for insight, for an equanimity with which both narrator and fortunate reader might re-enter life anew.”
Blurbery: Michael Ondaatje says much the same, namely: “subtle and human, anarchic and generous, intimate as well as far ranging in their time and geography”
Google Pie: CV2 shares a poem of hers called “Love Poem”. There’s lots of stuff in print, that I can’t link to directly, including this work in the Malahat and a recent appearance in Brick, the journal.

Title: Outskirts
Author: Sue Goyette
Release Date: April
Collection: Third
Timespan Since Last Book: Seven Years
Editor-Approved Bumfspeak:”Sue Goyette’s outskirts is a tour de force. Its originality lies in Goyette’s refusal of despair, her conviction that the connections among people, their conversation, curiosity, empathy and awe, can help us see a way forward. Her aim is to find energy in human love, a way to walk the darkness rather than hide from it. This book will name you, and frighten you; make you laugh, and arm you for what is to come.”
Blurbery: Molly Peacock says a lot, including “One of the best poets writing today in Canada…” and “magnificent” and “zesty!” John Steffler chimes in with: “Domestic and shamanic, these open-hearted poems are filled with the lift of discovery and insight.”
Google Pie: I admit that, if I had known about this book, it likely would have made my list of much anticipated 2011 titles, as Goyette’s last collection really wowed me. Here’s her poem in Prism that won this year’s Earle Birney Award. Here’s her jury citation for winning the 2008 CBC Literary Award and here’s a scan of the winning poems. Lastly, here’s a very readworthy review of Goyette’s Undone by Lorri Nielsen Glenn, as part of a three-way with books by Sue Sinclair and Al Moritz.

Title: Sharawadji
Authors: Brian Henderson
Release Date: April
Collection: Tenth
Timespan Since Last Book: Four Years
Editor-Approved Bumfspeak: “Brian Henderson has established himself as a poet who brilliantly makes us aware of language as an instrument of discovery. In his work we realize, over and over again, that each of the mind’s worlds speaks a secret language, which it is the poet’s task to discover and translate.In Sharawadji, this includes not only such worlds as those created by the surreal paintings of Jacek Yerka, but the intense, re-humanizing experience of loss and grief.”
Blurbery: Tim Lilburn says: “Sharawadji begins with a series of smart, sinuous portraits of placeless, post-apocalytic locales.” and later, “Henderson conjures alternate worlds – they resemble the peculiar kingdoms in Sufi visionary recitals – that are enticing, disarming and uprooting.” Don Domanski says: “Brian Henderson is one of the most innovative poets writing in Canada today.”
Google Pie: This is the door to Henderson’s personal website. Here’s his U of T poetry site, with links to several poems Here’s the official Canada Council page detailing his last book among the nominees for that year’s Poetry GG and here and here’s the discussion of that book as part of Alex Good’s annual Runaway Jury project. As a bonus, here’s a succinct paragraph defining and contextualizing the very interesting word that is Mr. Henderson’s title.

That’ll do it for Brick. Publishers, keep your catalogues coming. Even if you think it’s quite obviously presented on your website and I could never miss it. I could!

Explore posts in the same categories: 2011, Book Industry, Canadian Literature, Poems in the Wider World

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