Retail 2011: Cormorant Books
Cormorant is back and publishing poetry. The injection of a +1 to the list of the country’s trade paper poetry vendors is surprising. We seem to be losing them faster than gaining replacements. So, we should embrace the return of Cormorant’s poetry list. Embrace it good. Except for this book, which I may still embrace, but I need to take a couple months to recover from the cover copy.
Title: The Other Side of Ourselves
Author: Rob Taylor
Release Date: April
Collection: Le Debut!
What Bumf Say: “The Other Side of Ourselves, Rob Taylor’s debut collection of award-winning poems, explores the real and imagined worlds of our everyday lives. Mysterious without denying clear images, plain spoken without being plain, if there is an ongoing Cold War between modern poetry and the general reading public, Taylor’s poems are defiantly Non-Aligned. They promote a middle path where complexity does not trump simple pleasure, and pleasure gives way willingly to moments of insight and, hopefully, grace.”
What Google Say: I’m into the “non-alignment” idea. I am aligned behind non-alignment, myself. Let us set forth like Sukarnos. Rob has a blog that I think is pretty great and also a website where you can read this poem from Other Side and this one. Rob had, for some time, edited the poetry at Red Fez and is really into the poetry scene in Ghana, as the co-founder of this Ghanian (Ghanese?) poetry site. This book will almost definitely be good. Rob sent me a chapbook he had written based off of some Al Purdy lines and I enjoyed them.
Title: Some Frames
Author: Jack Hannan
Release Date; April
Collection: Le Debut!
What Bumf Say: “Jack Hannan has, until now, been one of Canadian poetry’s best- kept secrets. Some Frames brings together a body of new work with poems that appeared in small-circulation chapbooks and magazines in the late 1970s and 1980s — poems that were admired at the time by an intimate circle of readers and critics, but that never reached a wider audience. Hannan’s poetry has most often been compared to Stephane Mallarmé’s and John Ashbery’s. Mysterious, fluid, sometimes hermetic, sometimes hypnotic, moving the way music moves, his poems are like abstract painting in words — except that they are warm with hints of figuration and narrative, of human drama stirring beneath the surfaces, textures and weathers, the shifting planes of light, the indoor and outdoor spaces they so tangibly evoke.”
What Google Say: As suggested in that bumf, there’s some mystery here. And mystery is the enemy of copypaste bloggers. I’ve managed to cull out this poem from the LRC on an academic article-finder. I wouldn’t necessarily trust the lineation, though. It looks a touch fucked. Beyond the early-days stuff mentioned in the summary, there’s also newer poems up in this issue of The Fiddlehead.
Title: No End in Strangeness
Author: Bruce Taylor
Release Date: April
Timespan since last book: A big thirteen years.
What Bumf Say: “Bruce Taylor’s wide-ranging curiosity and capacity for wonderment are what drive his art. Whether he is perusing a “strange old book”, peering through a microscope at life forms in pond water, observing his own heart on screen during an echocardiogram, gazing into a glass marble, or climbing in the window of an abandoned church “to see what kind of glory/ had been boarded up in there,” Taylor is on a quest for “what’s under the pudding skin” of our lives and of life itself. Conversational yet elegant, cycling between humour and gravitas, his poems peel back surfaces to reveal unsuspected worlds within worlds. No End in Strangeness brings together new poetry and a generous selection of Taylor’s past work. The volume includes long-time favourites and first-time print versions of poems commissioned and broadcast by the CBC.”
What Google Say: Taylor has two A.M. Klein awards, which seem, looking back a decade or so, like the most consistent of English-Canadian poetry’s various regional awards. What’s notable too is that he actually has a previous publication (from 1989) from Cormorant, making him the first poet to be published with the company both before and then after their hiatus. I can tell you who he is not. He is not this other poet named Bruce Taylor, from Wisconsin. If this was a link-up of work by the other Bruce Taylor, it would be way easier. As is, it’s way difficult. Wayyyyy difficult. The best I can find, on page 14 of the google results, is this terrifying thing.