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Virtualis: Topologies of the Unreal is a poetic investigation of melancholia and the baroque. As a collaborative reading of writers such as Walter Benjamin, Christine Buci-Glucksmann, Giorgio Agamben, Gilles Deleuze, Charles Baudelaire and Arthur Rimbaud, David Dowker and Christine Stewart have created a series of linguistic interjections that run from the allegorical barricades of the baroque to the topological confound of the modern, incorporating (for example) Medusa and the Sphinx, aestivating snails and the alchemy of bees. Lush and extravagant, this is writing tuned in to the terrestrial spectacle.


...a futuristic present haunted by shades coming into being and vanishing, shape-shifting texts, and cyborgs in the production line of a linguistic factory that manufactures mirages both magical and nightmarish. The atmosphere is suffused with coded signs and electrical currents, the screen inhabited by a hybrid of pixel and gene finding its muse in the common denominator of its nuptials.

– Camille Martin, on Machine Language


David Dowker was born in Kingston, Ontario but has lived most of his life in Toronto. He was the editor of The Alterran Poetry Assemblage, and his first book, Machine Language, was published in 2010.


Christine Stewart lives on the North Saskatchewan River. She works at the University of Alberta and the Learning Centre in downtown Edmonton. Publications include from Taxonomy, Pessoa’s July: or the months of astonishments and The Trees of Periphery. The Humanist is forthcoming from Red Nettle Press.

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