Retail 2011: Biblioasis
We continue on our merry parade over the 2011 Canadian poetry horizon. Despite getting some exciting future-Vox news today, I shall keep my eyes on what’s in front of me.
What’s in front of me is the upcoming publishing plans of Biblioasis, another press I missed last time out. After a delay in getting their publication schedule together, the poetry titles listed as “Fall 2010” are actually only getting out to stores this month. So, the friendly Biblioasis marketing lady asked me to include them here, as a sort of Spring(-ish) 2011 list. And I said yes. So, we’ll do that first.
Title: Sunrise in the Eyes of the Snowman
Author: Goran Simic
Collection: September 2010. And by that, they mean around now.
Timespan Since Last Book: Six years since the last English collection.
What Bumf Say: “In this book, we find the world-renowned poet visiting familiar themes in fresh ways. Not only is Simic now writing in English, but many of these poems also embrace the constraints of rhyming quatrains. Simic seems to comment on this in on of those poems, “Walking Backwards”: “When I asked the old frames to embrace me freshly cast, / I was walking backwards. And I was dead wrong.” But what we have here is a middle-aged poet rising like a phoenix from the ashes of his past, moving forward with power and precision, forging new frames and speaking, as always, with an exiled voice as doubtful as it is authoritative.”
What Blurbs Say: Ken Babstock says: “Simic’s voice comes to us from a severe elsewhere,”
What Google Say: Here’s the man’s personal website, for starters. I’d recommend, within that site, his excellent essay “Sleeping with Poetry.” Here’s a Words at Large interview with the CBC from a couple years back. There’s also a (not wildly positive) review of Sunrise in the new Quill & Quire, I believe, but it’s not online yet. They usually trickle that stuff out over the month, so keep looking around.
Title: All This Could Be Yours
Author: Joshua Trotter
Release Date: September, 2010 (but not really)
Collection: Le Debut
What Bumf Say: I award 1,000 points to this, the most succinct, least-pretentious bio ever written for, or by, a debuting poet, and probably the shortest bio this side of “Ann Carson lives in Canada”: “A long-time resident of Peterborough, Joshua Trotter recently moved to Montreal. He is the author of one previous chapbook.” The bumf itself goes like this: “Like the promise of its title, All This Could Be Yours is full of elusive gifts. Joshua Trotter’s debut collection is a metaphysical hall of windows that seem to be mirrors and mirrors presenting themselves as windows. Trotter’s poems – which could be the bastard love-children of Stevens and Frost – refract, reflect and deflect with canny puns and rhymes, the rigour of their forms belying the rogue trickster twists of cockeyed logic they take and the po-faced near-sense in which they speak. ”
What Google Say: Here’s Joshua jumping through rob mclennan’s usual hoops. Trotter (along with the two Vehicule poets from yesterday) took part in this delightfully weird canoe-based poetry tour last year. And, perhaps most famously and controversially, the National Post recently declared this not-really-released-in-2010 2010 release The Very Best English-Language Poetry Collection of the Year, Among Those Not Published By Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux.
Title: Lost Luggage
Author: Salvatore Ala
Release Date: About now.
Timespan Since Last Book: Seven Years
What Bumf Say: ” Lost luggage and the efforts to find the things of this world retrieved and redeemed are central to Ala’s poems. In his new book he presents a unique group of poems about the world of soccer: “The Goalkeeper,” “Pelé,” “The Soccer Ball,” and others, show Ala’s openness and refusal to accept the sterility of modern trends. Lost Luggage has many examples of his unique sense of style, his particular blend of candidness and depth. A rare commodity today.”
What Google Say: Those unacceptably sterile modern trends apparently include most of the internet, so I’m scrounging here. I found this thing called “Windsor Communities” offering a profile, and I found a very persistent suggestion from the internet that I was probably actually trying to type “Salvador Allende“. Thanks, internet, for proving the man’s point.
That’s it for the lapsed past. Here’s what Biblioasis lists as its official “Spring 2011” lineup.
Title: Open Air Bindery
Author: David Hickey
Release Date: April
Timespan Since Last Book: Four Years
What Bumf Say: “David Hickey’s sophomore collection of poetry, Open Air Bindery, builds upon the myriad strengths of his first collection to offer a tightly fantastic collection of songs, stories and covenants ranging across everything from art and astronomy to snowflakes and suburbia, each poem a small instance of colliding light, playful and humorous and profound. These poems, like the flakes in Hickey’s poem- sequence “Snowflake Photography,” take their “time/ Covering the roadside trees in forms of (their) careful willing … gesturing down to earth, unveiling new shapes/ for all that (they) find/ here in the oldest of botanies.”
What Google Say: This is another book that, had I known it existed, would have probably made my list of titles I’m most looking forward to. Hickey’s last book is one of my favourite recent debuts. That book was introduced to me via this interview in NPR. Adorable little province “P.E.I.” keeps a pretty good database of pages on their native children, of which Hickey is one. Finally, here’s a review by Alex Good on his blog that brings up a lot of the same ruralist questions In The Lights of a Midnight Plow left behind in me, when I read it.
Title: The Illustrated Edge
Author: Marsha Pomerantz
Release Date: April
Collection: Le Debut
What Bumf Say: This isn’t really a Canadian book (Pomerantz is American, via Israel), but I’m just so tickled by the idea of a Canadian publisher doing a book by a non-Canadian (“What? What? There’s no CC money for that shit! What foolishness!” cry the provincialism police) I’ll mention it anyway. The bumf says things like: “Marsha Pomerantz’s The Illustrated Edge is as close to a perfect first collection of poetry as you’re likely to find: long-distilled explorations of the human heart mixed with linguistic and formal exuberance and playfulness.”
What Blurbs Say: Daniel Bosch, in the Boston Review, says Pomerantz “offers a participant-observer’s portrait of the state of the heart”
What Google Say: Here’s the rest of Bosch’s piece in BR. Pomerantz’s day job is at the Harvard Art Museum. No biggie. And, to show you just how internationalist they’re being, here’s a link to the Amazon.Co.Uk page for The Illustrated Edge. There you’ll see that they’re not only taking up Canadian publishing, but are actually the only way you can get The Illustrated Edge, even if you live on another continent.