Retail 2011: McClelland & Stewart, Ltd.
Today’s the home team. I was starting to obsess a bit about the various self-aggrandizing messages communicated by doing M&S either first (start from me and work out!) or last (save me for the end!). These are the things I worry about. In the end, I’m just throwing us out there somewhere in the middleish of the batting order. Like Rance Mulliniks.
So here goes. Looking at the list, I am reminded of that (non-existent) episode of The Golden Girls where Alf was the guest star. I’m not sure why.
Title: Origami Dove
Author: Susan Musgrave
Release Date: March
Timespan Since Last Book: Ten Years (since last full collection)
What Bumf Say: “The quiet, lapidary elegies of Obituary of Light are set against the furious mischief of Random Acts of Poetry, where the lines move with the inventive energy of a natural storyteller, while Heroines wrests a harsh and haunting poetry from the language of the street.
Her alertness to the absurdity in even the most heartbreaking personal crises leavens the sorrow that speaks through so many of the poems. Sadness and levity interweave. The wilderness and the penitentiary reflect one another. There’s an underlying tenderness, though, whether she is writing about family, the dispossessed, her life on Haida Gwaii, or the vagaries of love. This is Susan Musgrave in full control of her powers, writing poetry that cuts right to the bone.”
What Google Say: She has a homepage, which can portal you around for a solid hour if you’re interested. Lots of newish poems are online, including here in Forget and this one in Ascent. Also, because I like having as much extra-poetic stuff in these as possible, here’s Musgrave doing an environmental op-ed in support of BC’s bears
Title: Small Mechanics
Author: Lorna Crozier
Release Date: March
Timespan Since Last Book: Six years since the last new full. In the interim, there’s been both a memoir and a selected.
What Bumf Say: “The poems in Lorna Crozier’s rich and wide-ranging new collection, a modern bestiary and a book of mourning, are both shadowed and illuminated by the passing of time, the small mechanics of the body as it ages, the fine-tuning of what a life becomes when parents and old friends are gone. Brilliantly poised between the mythic and the everyday, the anecdotal and the delicately lyrical, these poems contain the wit, irreverence, and startling imagery for which Crozier is justly celebrated. You’ll find Bach and Dostoevsky, a poem that turns into a dog, a religion founded by cats, and wood rats that dance on shingles. These poems turn over the stones of words and find what lies beneath, reminding us why Lorna Crozier is one of Canada’s most well-read and commanding voices.”
What Google Say: Lorna also has a website. From there, I’d draw your attention to Alice Major’s piece on her 25-year-old poem (not in Small Mechanics, obviously) “Carrots” as part of the LRC’s “Most Memorable Poems” bit. Here’s a thoughtful radio interview with the poet about her recent memoir. And here’s a cool fundraiser she’s doing on behalf of the Writer’s Trust.
Author: Anne Simpson
Release Date: March
Timespan Since Last Book: Four years for poetry. In the meantime, there’s been both a novel and a collection of essays.
What Bumf Say: “A cell is a world within a world within a world. In this remarkable new collection, Anne Simpson finds form and inspiration in the cell — as it divides and multiplies, expanding beyond its borders. As these poems journey from the newly created realm of the opening through to the slow unwinding of the ending, Simpson illuminates what it means to be alive, here and now. Rich with the muscular craft, vibrant imagery, and extraordinary musicality for which her poetry is widely acclaimed, this collection sees Simpson continuing to “negotiate an ever-changing path between language and structure”(Vancouver Sun) — with astonishing results. It is a work of great vision from one of our most compelling poetic voices.”
What Google Say: I can’t resist representing for the Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library (902!) so here’s this. More to the point, here’s Anne answering The Post’s NaPoWriMo (anagram shudder…) questionnaire. Of course, as a former winner (for 2004’s Loop), the Griffins have a treasure trove up of Anne Simpson video, audio, and text.
Author: This guy.
Release Date: March
Timespan Since Last Book: Three little years.
What Bumf Say: I feel like I’m opening some sort of self-referential rift in the internet here, so I’m just going to paste the whole thing and be done with it. “The two sections in Jacob McArthur Mooney’s virtuoso collection – one rural in orientation, one urban – open an intricate conversation. Taking as its inciting incident the 1998 crash of Swissair Flight 111 off the coast of Nova Scotia, and later moving onto the neighbourhoods around Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, Folk is an intricately composed inquiry into the human need for frames, edges, borders, and a passionate probe of contemporary challenges to identity, whether for individuals, neighbourhoods, cities, or nations. Mooney examines the fraught desire to align where we live with who we are, and asks how we can be at home on the compromised earth. This is poetry that poses crucial questions and refuses easy answers, as it builds a shimmering verbal structure that ventures “beyond ownership or thought.” Mooney’s distinctive voice is seriously unsettling, deeply appealing, and answerable to our difficult times.”
What Google Say: Seriously? Well, there’s his blog. Click right HERE to go there (magical invisible hyperlinking powers, have I). Beyond that, here are the links I can think of where work from the new book can be found. In rough page order, you could go to The Puritan, The Walrus, and/or My Favourite Bullet. If anyone wants a review copy, those should be ready by March. Email me, or the company.
Well, that was exhausting. Until tomorrow, kids.