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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »False Spring«

False Spring

Brick Books


Poems about commitment and catastrophe, from a voice of intense lyrical skepticism and wonderful tonal mobility. False Spring, Darren Bifford’s second collection of poetry, is a book largely concerned with various forms of collapse and cultural disintegration. These are poems of considerable weight and great energy at once, so that the impression is of a large-muscled animal that is also nimble. They are the work of an engaged moral imagination, alive with the conceptual issues of the times embedded in experience; their "philosophical” import speaks out of the poetic act itself. Bifford seems always in active conversation, dialogue, dispute with figures from literary and classical traditions. There is also a set of "translations” of a Polish poet of Bifford’s invention, which permit him to write, Pessoa-like, in another voice—even if it shares a few features (as a disillusioned Pole writing of general collapse) with his own. While non-confessional in intent, the poems do attend to the inner pitch—like a white noise—which the events of the world sound. The book thus contends with a nostalgia for old forms without belying any sustained confidence in their veracity. / It’s like in a cartoon, all the forest fires / Leapfrogging fires. Small civilizations caught / In the dirty, say they’re sorry and plead their cases / Ad hoc and brilliantly. "Scared as shit” / Is my summary.

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Darren Bifford’s False Spring is a very strong sophomore effort by an increasingly confident poet... these are beautifully crafted poems to savour, poems with which to sit and stare.

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Darren Bifford is the author of the chapbooks Wolf Hunter (Cactus Press, 2010), Hermit Crab (Baseline Press, 2014), and The Age of Revolution (Anstruther Press, 2017). His first full-length collection was Wedding in Fire Country (Nightwood Editions, 2012). He co-edited (with Warren Heiti) Chamber Music: The Poetry of Jan Zwicky (Wilfrid Laurier Press, 2015). Originally from Summerland, BC, he lived and taught in Montreal for many years, where he also coordinated the Atwater Poetry Project.

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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Yellow Crane«

Yellow Crane

Brick Books


Inviting, human, capacious poems that grapple with ideas while also lightly grieving our capacity for ruin. Yellow Crane, Susan Gillis’s fourth collection of poetry, is a book of many views, many voices. A long look at the changing landscape of a Montreal neighbourhood becomes at once a lament and a love poem. A sequence of poems inspired by Japanese tanka take on the cultural weather, core-drilling into the contradictions and uncertainties of the everyday. Writers, artists, thinkers, cooks, and others congregate in a hammock on the edge of a hayfield to compare notes on what we value. A bear turns up on a path near a quarry. The poems of Yellow Crane study, with a lover’s tender yet critical eye, the world we occupy and the way we occupy it: art, industry, environments both built and natural; the simultaneous flux and agelessness of our daily habits; the long human story of appropriation of wilderness; the fragility, resilience, and questionable worth of what we make, especially under political, economic, and social pressures; concern about our changing times; grief over what we leave behind. This is a book that argues with itself, then rests. At once precise and loose, wise and nimble, it will make you both feel and think—and care about the world along with it. We know the tree stands for promise / and for the desire, which comes much later, for atonement. / We stand at the west-facing window / and let the buildings opposite turn gold, then back to brick. / (from "Morning Light”)

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Susan Gillis is a Montreal-based poet, teacher, and editor who has also lived on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Canada. A member of the collective Yoko’s Dogs, she is the author of Swimming Among the Ruins (Signature Editions, 2000), Volta (Signature Editions, 2002), which won the A. M. Klein Prize for Poetry, The Rapids (Brick Books, 2012), Whisk (with Yoko’s Dogs, Pedlar Press, 2013), and several chapbooks with Gaspereau Press. Susan spends a lot of time in rural Ontario, near Perth, where she does most of her writing.

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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Standing in the Flock of Connections«

Standing in the Flock of Connections

Brick Books


Poems that skitter between life and death, “sleep and hurry,” at their heart a kind of tender panic. By turns funny, frank, mysterious, and heartbreaking, Standing in the Flock of Connections, Heather Cadsby’s fifth collection of poetry, is one hundred proof associative thought. These poems testify to the human mind’s capacity to "do”—taking into account all of the performative, causal, athletic, and sexual connotations of that verb. Many of them come in on an overheard conversation or monologue—mid-fight, mid-stride—and the absent details and specifics often function to open up a space for things to become other things, for the flock of connections to swarm. / I love a pentagram. You can draw that thing / all day freehand, sloppy. Five-star / hotels, movies, generals. Throw it around / like it was a love number, which it is. / Cut an apple horizontally, there it is. / Draw one inside its centre pentagon and so on / nesting smaller forever. Till you call it quits / and start singing Holy etc. / (from “Sunday geometer”)

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"…verse that demonstrates wit and levity as well as a seriousness at its heart … capable of blasphemy … an honest inquiry into life and the inherent duality of the moment.”

---

Heather Cadsby was born in Belleville, Ontario and moved to Toronto at a young age. In the 1980s, along with Maria Jacobs, she produced the monthly periodical Poetry Toronto and founded the poetry press Wolsak and Wynn. Also at this time, she organized poetry events at the Axle-Tree Coffee House in Toronto and Phoenix: A Poet's Workshop. In recent years, she has served as a director of the Art Bar Poetry Series.

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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »What Kind of Man Are You«

What Kind of Man Are You

Brick Books


What does it mean to be a man now? These poems’ answers are bold and deeply moving. The poems in Degan Davis’s debut collection, What Kind Of Man Are You, move between the title’s societal taunt (prove yourself) and its more tender and inquisitive question (how to be a man in this era?). Davis has guts; he trusts the voice of a poem to draw out those truths that in lesser hands might render us mute. The writing navigates the spaces between traditional male archetypes and 21st century possibilities, through the lenses of music, tribes, war, divorce, sex, and love.Davis is both impish and an old soul, and his poems are as comfortable riffing on big topics as they are when he’s maneuvering language with a musician’s cadence. As a result, the work is instantly engaging and thoroughly human. Why read Degan Davis? Because his work is full of joy. Because, to him, poetry matters.

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"If you could strip us of our insolent and taciturn practices, deny us our drunken and garrulous escapes, and encourage our tongues to talk the truth, these are some of the things men might say about what, and how, they feel.”

---

"… Rejecting both rhetoric and brute force as supreme, this book lives as equally in the heart as the mind. It’s had a drink or two with Lowell, Bly, and Carver. It's found a church of sorts in jazz and blues. As readers, we find ourselves witnessing this sensitive exploration during an historical moment in which What Kind of Man Are You may emerge as one of the most urgent questions.”

---

Degan Davis spent his childhood in Mattawa, Ontario, at the confluence of two rivers. He works as a Gestalt Therapist, both in a university setting and in private practice. Degan's poetry and non-fiction have appeared in such places as The Globe and Mail, The Malahat Review, Riddle Fence, and The New Quarterly. He is currently working on a collection of essays about masculinity, femininity, and how to be a good man in this era. He lived for many years in St. John’s and now lives in Toronto.

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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Reckon«

Reckon

Brick Books


Anxious, twitchy, urgent poems—a collection that’s at once sardonic and "chronically wishful.” Reckon, Steve McOrmond’s first book of poems since his acclaimed 2010 collection The Good News about Armageddon, hones in on those fugitive moments when the parts of ourselves that have not been entirely subsumed by consumer capitalism escape their cages and come out to play—a photographer’s lifelong desire to collect snowflakes, an adolescent’s game of show-me-yours, the small, defiant act of letting a cellphone call go to voicemail. “The whole world has gone straight to voicemail,” McOrmond writes a line later. With one foot in the physical world and one in the virtual, these poems embody the often-tense negotiations between “I” and a collective “we.” Concerned with the sweep of history and the rush of the now, McOrmond demonstrates a knack for bringing the vast and amorphous down to human size, making it personal: “How gone?/ Real gone. All our gift cards unredeemed.” Responding to a poem from Reckon that appeared on Poetry Daily, comedian Patton Oswalt tweeted a perceptive one-liner review: “Steve McOrmond’s new poem, ‘Pure Outrage,’ is really funny and, if you read it right, kind of scary.” While at times these poems reach out from a place of isolation, across a distance greater than words, one always senses an earnest desire for connection and engagement: Here, take my hand. Maybe it’s not too late.

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"Creeping dread, bemused wonder, and a species of headlong incredulity inform Steve McOrmond’s processing of the new century’s prodigious cultural jetsam, its ‘wilderness of signs’. Reckon apprehends the strangeness in the commonplace, and the anxiety humming in everyday chatter, fact and argument, whether it be live or digitized. ‘What do they open, the keys that come rotoring down from the maple trees?’ Turns out it’s complicated.”

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"The isolation and confusion of the modern age come to life in Steve McOrmond's new book Reckon in a way that is disquieting and strangely comforting at the same time.”

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Steve McOrmond is the author of three previous collections of poetry, most recently The Good News about Armageddon (Brick Books 2010), which appeared on a number of book critics’ Best of 2010 lists and was shortlisted for the 2011 ReLit Award. His second collection, Primer on the Hereafter (Wolsak and Wynn 2006), was awarded the Atlantic Poetry Prize. His debut collection, Lean Days (Wolsak and Wynn 2004), was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Award. Originally from Prince Edward Island, he lives in Toronto.

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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Reunion«

Reunion

Brick Books


Poems that unfold like liturgy, confronting old violence with a trembling, dignified restraint. Reunion is a parable, an origin story, a cautionary tale. It is also a time machine in which poems commune with ghosts in an attempt both to reckon with and subvert their legacy. It is a tale of the impossible quest for the original, unhurt self. A girlhood is re-inhabited and oddly transformed as the adult becomes ally of her younger self. Young’s writerly range extends through language both candid and stylized, and to forms from ballads to prayer to Biblical sermons. The voice is often interior, but at times it gains a public character—often through the use of religious language and song forms—and we sense that the child’s suffering is in many ways a community failure. The emotional and psychological landscape of these poems seems at once near and far, familiar and strange, uncanny in Freud’s sense. Young has created a distinctive pastoral-gothic hybrid; her daring spirit shapes a collection both deeply generous to and demanding of the reader. As I lay there on the couch / I bargained feebly, / weighing each thing I thought I loved / against the ache. (from "Lamb”)

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"Each of Deanna Young’s spare, pitch-perfect poems seems to contain a novel. Young weaves in and out of time, playing with perspective, to illuminate experience.... This is a poetry that makes memory sharper, consciousness larger, life longer in all directions.”

---

Deanna Young’s previous books include House Dreams, nominated for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry, the Ottawa Book Award, the Archibald Lampman Award and the ReLit Award, and Drunkard’s Path. Young grew up in southwestern Ontario during the 1970s and ’80s. Reunion, her fourth collection, belongs to that place and time. She now lives in Ottawa, where she works as an editor and teaches poetry privately.

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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »False Spring«

False Spring

Brick Books


Poems about commitment and catastrophe, from a voice of intense lyrical skepticism and wonderful tonal mobility. False Spring, Darren Bifford’s second collection of poetry, is a book largely concerned with various forms of collapse and cultural disintegration. These are poems of considerable weight and great energy at once, so that the impression is of a large-muscled animal that is also nimble. They are the work of an engaged moral imagination, alive with the conceptual issues of the times embedded in experience; their "philosophical” import speaks out of the poetic act itself. Bifford seems always in active conversation, dialogue, dispute with figures from literary and classical traditions. There is also a set of "translations” of a Polish poet of Bifford’s invention, which permit him to write, Pessoa-like, in another voice—even if it shares a few features (as a disillusioned Pole writing of general collapse) with his own. While non-confessional in intent, the poems do attend to the inner pitch—like a white noise—which the events of the world sound. The book thus contends with a nostalgia for old forms without belying any sustained confidence in their veracity. / It’s like in a cartoon, all the forest fires / Leapfrogging fires. Small civilizations caught / In the dirty, say they’re sorry and plead their cases / Ad hoc and brilliantly. "Scared as shit” / Is my summary.

---

Darren Bifford’s False Spring is a very strong sophomore effort by an increasingly confident poet... these are beautifully crafted poems to savour, poems with which to sit and stare.

---

Darren Bifford is the author of the chapbooks Wolf Hunter (Cactus Press, 2010), Hermit Crab (Baseline Press, 2014), and The Age of Revolution (Anstruther Press, 2017). His first full-length collection was Wedding in Fire Country (Nightwood Editions, 2012). He co-edited (with Warren Heiti) Chamber Music: The Poetry of Jan Zwicky (Wilfrid Laurier Press, 2015). Originally from Summerland, BC, he lived and taught in Montreal for many years, where he also coordinated the Atwater Poetry Project.

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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Reunion«

Reunion

Brick Books


Poems that unfold like liturgy, confronting old violence with a trembling, dignified restraint. Reunion is a parable, an origin story, a cautionary tale. It is also a time machine in which poems commune with ghosts in an attempt both to reckon with and subvert their legacy. It is a tale of the impossible quest for the original, unhurt self. A girlhood is re-inhabited and oddly transformed as the adult becomes ally of her younger self. Young’s writerly range extends through language both candid and stylized, and to forms from ballads to prayer to Biblical sermons. The voice is often interior, but at times it gains a public character—often through the use of religious language and song forms—and we sense that the child’s suffering is in many ways a community failure. The emotional and psychological landscape of these poems seems at once near and far, familiar and strange, uncanny in Freud’s sense. Young has created a distinctive pastoral-gothic hybrid; her daring spirit shapes a collection both deeply generous to and demanding of the reader. As I lay there on the couch / I bargained feebly, / weighing each thing I thought I loved / against the ache. (from "Lamb”)

---

"Each of Deanna Young’s spare, pitch-perfect poems seems to contain a novel. Young weaves in and out of time, playing with perspective, to illuminate experience.... This is a poetry that makes memory sharper, consciousness larger, life longer in all directions.”

---

Deanna Young’s previous books include House Dreams, nominated for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry, the Ottawa Book Award, the Archibald Lampman Award and the ReLit Award, and Drunkard’s Path. Young grew up in southwestern Ontario during the 1970s and ’80s. Reunion, her fourth collection, belongs to that place and time. She now lives in Ottawa, where she works as an editor and teaches poetry privately.

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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Standing in the Flock of Connections«

Standing in the Flock of Connections

Brick Books


Poems that skitter between life and death, “sleep and hurry,” at their heart a kind of tender panic. By turns funny, frank, mysterious, and heartbreaking, Standing in the Flock of Connections, Heather Cadsby’s fifth collection of poetry, is one hundred proof associative thought. These poems testify to the human mind’s capacity to "do”—taking into account all of the performative, causal, athletic, and sexual connotations of that verb. Many of them come in on an overheard conversation or monologue—mid-fight, mid-stride—and the absent details and specifics often function to open up a space for things to become other things, for the flock of connections to swarm. / I love a pentagram. You can draw that thing / all day freehand, sloppy. Five-star / hotels, movies, generals. Throw it around / like it was a love number, which it is. / Cut an apple horizontally, there it is. / Draw one inside its centre pentagon and so on / nesting smaller forever. Till you call it quits / and start singing Holy etc. / (from “Sunday geometer”)

---

"…verse that demonstrates wit and levity as well as a seriousness at its heart … capable of blasphemy … an honest inquiry into life and the inherent duality of the moment.”

---

Heather Cadsby was born in Belleville, Ontario and moved to Toronto at a young age. In the 1980s, along with Maria Jacobs, she produced the monthly periodical Poetry Toronto and founded the poetry press Wolsak and Wynn. Also at this time, she organized poetry events at the Axle-Tree Coffee House in Toronto and Phoenix: A Poet's Workshop. In recent years, she has served as a director of the Art Bar Poetry Series.

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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »What Kind of Man Are You«

What Kind of Man Are You

Brick Books


What does it mean to be a man now? These poems’ answers are bold and deeply moving. The poems in Degan Davis’s debut collection, What Kind Of Man Are You, move between the title’s societal taunt (prove yourself) and its more tender and inquisitive question (how to be a man in this era?). Davis has guts; he trusts the voice of a poem to draw out those truths that in lesser hands might render us mute. The writing navigates the spaces between traditional male archetypes and 21st century possibilities, through the lenses of music, tribes, war, divorce, sex, and love.Davis is both impish and an old soul, and his poems are as comfortable riffing on big topics as they are when he’s maneuvering language with a musician’s cadence. As a result, the work is instantly engaging and thoroughly human. Why read Degan Davis? Because his work is full of joy. Because, to him, poetry matters.

---

"If you could strip us of our insolent and taciturn practices, deny us our drunken and garrulous escapes, and encourage our tongues to talk the truth, these are some of the things men might say about what, and how, they feel.”

---

"… Rejecting both rhetoric and brute force as supreme, this book lives as equally in the heart as the mind. It’s had a drink or two with Lowell, Bly, and Carver. It's found a church of sorts in jazz and blues. As readers, we find ourselves witnessing this sensitive exploration during an historical moment in which What Kind of Man Are You may emerge as one of the most urgent questions.”

---

Degan Davis spent his childhood in Mattawa, Ontario, at the confluence of two rivers. He works as a Gestalt Therapist, both in a university setting and in private practice. Degan's poetry and non-fiction have appeared in such places as The Globe and Mail, The Malahat Review, Riddle Fence, and The New Quarterly. He is currently working on a collection of essays about masculinity, femininity, and how to be a good man in this era. He lived for many years in St. John’s and now lives in Toronto.

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