Acclaimed poet Jan Conn’s latest book, Tomorrow’s Bright White Light, offers poems as phenomenological guides to an approximation of a future “truth.” The collection includes poems about odd, secretive childhood events and poems that visit the badlands of adolescence from both male and female viewpoints. Some poems deal with the struggles of contemporary life in its many guises, while others derive from Conn’s time in Latin America. Obvious or not, all of the poems in this stunning collection are linked, creating a personal mosaic of the poet’s many lives and experiences.
‘“I want to be both noun and verb.’ By the time that desire gets expressed, by one speaker in one poem near the end of Jan Conn’s new book, Tomorrow’s Bright White Light, the reader has seen it fulfilled by the collection as a whole. Conn’s poetry is fully noun and fully verb, picking out very particular things doing very particular things: varnished cotton bags carrying water, termites crawling upward into clothes, screen doors collecting an eclipse of moths, polar bears crunching over crackled ice. In this extraordinary work, being and doing merge.”—H. L. Hix, author of Incident Light and Legible Heavens
“Any reader of Jan Conn will be made aware of her philosophical voice which she seamlessly blends with her poetry, dexterously heightened by scientific language or heightened diction… As poet, she experiences altered states, the internal floats, a dislocation of time and space, multiple places, shifting shapes and mixing metaphors… the qualities of a dream.”—Anne Burke, poets.ca
“The humanity and vulnerability of Conn’s voice, which shows itself in controlled glimpses, is one that measures its surroundings, and finds hope in that place where two modes of attention, objectivity and sensitivity to beauty, meet each other with profound respect.”—Sonnet L’Abbé, Malahat Review
“Future-oriented, even hopeful poetics… Conn’s work is timely in its depictions of political precarity as well as environmental collapse… poems muster their details to paint almost ekphrastic scenes through Conn’s always masterful diction.”—Lise Gaston, Arc Poetry
Canadian poet Jan Conn was brought up in southeastern Quebec. She now lives in Great Barrington, Massachusetts and is a professor of Biomedical Sciences whose research is focused on the genetics and ecology of mosquitoes. She has published eight previous books of poetry, most recently Botero’s Beautiful Horses and Edge Effects.
Pub date: Spring 2016
Opening with an aubade for the labyrinthian corners of Bombay’s largest slum, Tourist is a collection that is unafraid of shadows, and aims to unearth the unseen. Set across time and landscape—modern day Michigan, 1970’s Cambodia, WWI England, the kaleidoscopic mindscape of an Alzheimer patient—these poems draw us into lives that, initially, seem foreign, yet provoke our solidarity in the face of disorientation—a boy facing his first bankruptcy, an elephant facing destruction at the hands of poachers. The book culminates in ‘Beethoven Walks’, an elegiac war cry from a man who wades in and out of darkness like a modern day Odysseus, and the churning resilience that sets him free.
“Wakefulness is poet Lara Bozabalian’s traveling companion in her new collection, Tourist. Her lines are long with an inviting tendency to wander. Her similes are startling, her descriptions dressed to kill.”—Barry Dempster, author of The Burning Alphabet and Disturbing the Buddha
“With its lush imagery and eye for resonant detail, its rhythm born from Lara’s rich history in spoken word and performance, Tourist will more than satisfy your literary wanderlust.”—Carolyn Smart, author of Hooked and Careen
“Bozabalian’s travels, both geographical and imaginative, make for compelling reading. A refreshingly assured and original book.”—Alexandra Oliver, author of Meeting the Tormentors in Safeway and Let the Empire Down
“Lara Bozabalian is a poet with a deft understanding of emotional and physical distance. Wherever she places her readers in time or place, she is reliably available as an earnest, expansive guide. Tourist is full of curious, public-hearted poems.”—Jacob McArthur Mooney, author of Folk and Don’t Be Interesting
“Channelling Escher the artist/architect and his intricate alleyway… expresses hidden emotions… by means of a kaleidoscope.” Anne Burke, poets.ca
“There is something about Lara’s writing that is magical to me.”—goodreads.com
Lara Bozabalian is an award-winning writer, and author of the bestselling collection of poetry, The Cartographer’s Skin. In both 2014 and 2015, Lara was named Toronto’s Best Poet in the Now Magazine Best of Toronto Poll. She has featured at TEDxIB and lectured, workshopped, and performed her work at several Canadian universities.
Pub date: Spring 2016
Michael Fraser is a Toronto high school teacher, poet, and writer. He has been published in various national and international journals and anthologies, including The Best Canadian Poetry in English, 2013. His manuscript, The Serenity of Stone, won the 2007 Canadian Aid Literary Award Contest and was published in 2008 by Bookland Press. He won the 2016 CBC Poetry Prize and was also the winner of FreeFall‘s 2014 and 2015 poetry contests, Michael is the creator and former director of the Plasticine Poetry Series.