Closer to Where We Began

9781988040189 Closer cover

ISBN: 9781988040189

Price: $19.95




Lisa Richter’s Closer to Where We Began is a diverse collection of poetry that follows the speaker on a path of self-discovery. The collection navigates the tension between memory and imagination, between the personal and the political, and the primacy of sensual, sensory, lived experience. These dream-like poems not only concern themselves with the speaker, but with urban and natural environments, friends, family, and lovers, past and present. The poet explores overlapping/intersecting identities that shape and inform us, celebrating the importance of telling our stories as a means of bringing us closer to our authentic selves.

“Lisa Richter weaves time and place with grace and expertise throughout the poems in this her first collection, Closer to Where We Began. Sensual, delicate yet biting, these poems sweep forward and back with energy and insight proving ‘the heart is a finite muscle of blood and music.’ By following the rhythm of each poem’s unfolding we are led to a ‘deeper quiet.’  A rich and resonant book.”—Catherine Graham, author of Her Red Hair Rises with the Wings of Insects

‘”Invoke the light…” writes Lisa Richter, ‘the light that leaves nothing / in its wake that is cold or unkind.’ With a richness in metaphor and a clarity of vision, Richter deftly travels the reader through seasonal tapestries of nature, across many identities, into many cities, and inside the bounds of family. Yet losses, and the world’s coldness and cruelty are not ignored, but rather, their pains and truths explored poetically: ‘the tongue finds its muse in the most sour of ripenings.’ The confidence and tenderness of Richter’s voice, and her mastery of form, makes Closer to Where We Began a rich and compelling read.”—Maureen Hynes, author of The Poison Colour

“Richter excavates memory as a geography forged by the complexities of human relationships. To read her work is to be transported into an alternate landscape wherein each encounter has been dissected and reassembled with a simultaneously commanding and vulnerable acuity.”—Robin Richardson, author of Knife Throwing Through Self-Hypnosis

“Richter’s first book traces an intimate diaspora… These are pieces of young mid-life when possibly a deeper consciousness of death and history twins with continued and reconfigured desires.”—Catherine Owen, Marrrow Reviews

“The poet admits rebellion… She is ‘Taking Stock’ of ghosts without stories… here are allusions to Robertson Davies’ Fifth Business and graffiti in Kensington Market; Where the Wild Things Are, poetry homage based on Evelyn Lau, Kate Braid, Theodore Roethke.”—Anne Burke, poets.ca

Photo by Matthew Burpee

Photo by Matthew Burpee

Lisa Richter‘s poetry has appeared in The Malahat Review, The Puritan, Literary Review of Canada, The Toronto Quarterly, Crab Creek Review, among other journals and anthologies. She was longlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize in 2015, and won first place in CV2 Magazine’s 2-Day Poem Contest in 2017. Closer to Where We Began is her first collection of poetry. She lives, writes, and teaches English as a Second Language in Toronto.

 

Posted in C, Poetry, spring 2017 | Tagged , , , , , , , |

Prosopagnosia—Ron Charach

proso test

ISBN: 9781988040226

PRICE: $19.95

Riffing on the neurological condition “prosopagnosia” (face blindness), the difficulty recognizing familiar faces, Ron Charach’s new collection of poems explores our struggle to recognize ourselves in others, and to remain recognizable to them across the boundaries of gender, race and religion, health and illness, love and indifference, celebrity and fandom, youth and advancing age.

Praise for Ron Charach’s poetry

“Ron Charach’s poetry—its expansiveness, its general extension of the boundaries (or so-called boundaries) of poetry, its political bite and pick-up from daily life—are all pleasures for the reader.”
Don McKay, author of Camber and Angular Unconformity 

“There’s a quirkiness of perspective in Ron Charach’s work which banishes the world of self-serving earnestness to the margins… I find myself thinking: if the social leg-hold traps we set for ourselves can’t be got free of, at least we can look down and laugh.”
Roo Borson, author of Cardinal in the Eastern White Cedar and Short Journey Upriver Toward Oishida

“Ron Charach is a metaphysical poet, if by metaphysical one means a poet concerned with the role of the human spirit in the great drama of experience. His concern with the complexities of humanity’s relationship to God and Nature make him a poet to be reckoned with.”
—John B. Lee, author of The Widow’s Land and The Full Measure

Ron Charach

Photo by Sean DeCory

Ron Charach is an author and practicing psychiatrist who lives in Toronto. He has lectured in both Canada and the United States on creativity. For sixteen years he hosted a column on medicine and poetry in The Medical Post, where he showcased the work of other physician/poets. His books are featured on the New York University website on the medical humanities and his medically related poems are taught in several medical humanities programs. He has published many letters in Canadian and American newspapers, most often on the subject of public safety.  His 2001 collection, Dungenessque, won the Canadian Jewish Book Award for poetry. Like his psychotherapy work with patients in the creative arts and sciences, Ron Charach’s poetry draws from the twin streams of literature and the healing arts.

Posted in P, Poetry, spring 2017 | Tagged , , , , , , |

Dopamine Blunder-Lori Cayer

Dopamine Cover

ISBN: 9781988040059

PRICE: $19.95




Dopamine Blunder is a gutsy examination of happiness and what it means to be happy. In her astounding third poetry collection, Lori Cayer takes on the juggernaut role of steward of human nature and subsequently explodes the myth of happiness through a multi-faceted lens of anthropology, socio-biology, sociology, psychology, archaeology, medicine and philosophy. Hinging on erasure and found material, Dopamine Blunder investigates these fundamental questions as our millennium unfolds with equal uncertainty and trepidation.

“Lori Cayer’s Dopamine Blunder peels back one layer of happiness after another, right down to the neuro-transmitters. Not far from the circuitry of addiction, and twitchy with the irradiated secrets of love, these poems move through their own hierarchy of needs to an acceptance that is far from transcendent but very much of this world. Full of spiny regrets and forest balms, they are also full of laundry. After all, ‘it looks like someone lives here’. And for this, as for so much else in this fine new book, we should count our ragged blessings.”—Monty Reid, author of Meditatio Placentae and The Luskville Reductions

Dopamine Blunder? Here is a poetry in which algorithms inform rhythms and sense trades bons mots with nonsense. Lori Cayer knows that ‘happiness’ is an equation that spells out a comfy reality.  The poet articulates the antics of language, so that abstractions seem as sensual as the physical–and vice versa. The poet appreciates that words tend away ‘from our singular hands / our rhetorical happenings sent / from the gift economy, received at the door like / on-line orders.’ In Cayer’s vision, a diamond is ‘a light scissor, bright fossil, a hole of gravity.’ Her poems are odes to metaphysical perception.”—George Elliott Clarke, 7th Parliamentary Poet Laureate

“Cayer looks at what it means to emote, to feel, and to strive to recreate those moments of happiness… a complex collection that requires rumination and exploration beyond the page into the self and the world around us.” Serena Augosto-Cox, Savvy Verse and Wit

“One of the tropes of this collection is ‘If you want to be happy, be’… Compositions move from last line to first… The poet is subversive throughout.”—Anne Burke, poets.ca

“There is much to love in Dopamine Blunder… Readers that lean toward the lyrical will find enough to feed on, and those that prefer the conceptual will be just as pleased, as Cayer’s poems manage to bridge the neural gap between the two forms effortlessly.”—Al Rempel, Arc Poetry Magazine

Photo by Jody Hudey

Photo by Jody Hudey

Lori Cayer is the author of two volumes of poetry: Stealing Mercury and Attenuations of Force. She is a former co-editor for Contemporary Verse 2 and is co-founder of the Lansdowne Prize for Poetry/Prix Lansdowne de poésie. She has previously served as the Manitoba rep for the League of Canadian Poets and currently sits as secretary on the League’s National Council.

 

Posted in D, Spring 2016, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , |

Tomorrow’s Bright White Light-Jan Conn

ISBN: 9781988040141

PRICE: $19.95


 

TWBL cover

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

Photo by Carl Schlichting

Photo by Carl Schlichting

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.

Posted in Poetry, Spring 2016, T, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

To Greet Yourself Arriving-Michael Fraser

To Greet Yourself WebISBN: 9781988040042
Price: $19.95

To Greet Yourself Arriving pays tribute to inspirational and illustrious figures throughout black history. A wide range of individuals such as activists, artists, and athletes are showcased in Michael Fraser’s powerful poetic portraits—Rosa Parks, Barack Obama, Harriet Tubman, Oscar Peterson, Oprah Winfrey, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and P.K. Subban. In his foreword to this groundbreaking collection, Canadian Parliamentary Poet Laureate George Elliott Clarke writes, “Fraser gives us characters who, even if tortured by their experiences of “race” and/or racism, win through to a stardom that edges into heroism…”

 Praise for Michael Fraser’s work

“A new, exciting voice has emerged in Canada’s poetry scene. The poet blends his unique heritage—birth in Grenada, boyhood in Edmonton and teaching high school in Toronto—with an unerring eye and ear for contrast and detail. All of Fraser’s lines crackle with an energy fuelled by deep empathy and the ability to take language to the edge.”—Canadian Bookseller Magazine

 Praise for To Greet Yourself Arriving

“Fraser doesn’t just show his subjects with scars and flaws, gold stars and halos, but almost always with a generous, cinematic light.”–George Elliot Clarke, Canadian Parliamentary Poet Laureate and author of Whylah Falls

“The poems are revelatory, educative, and inspirational. They tell (or retell differently) stories of heroes—some admired, loved; but many unsung, forgotten… That this is a historically significant book is evident on every page.”—Mayank Bhatt, Generally About Books

“Fraser’s poetry provides rich pieces to share and consider. This is a collection that teachers should be teaching across the country.” —Jael Richardson, Toronto Star

“The poems in Fraser’s To Greet Yourself Arriving stand fiercely on their own as poems, tight and clear and clean, but as a chorus this book raises itself to a beautiful black sound.”—Michael Dennis, Today’s Book of Poetry

fraser pic

Photo by Krystyna Wesolowska

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.

Posted in G, Poetry, Spring 2016, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

When All My Disappointments Came at Once – Todd Swift


ISBN: 9781926639451
Price: $14.95—special sale price!




Todd Swift’s eighth poetry collection, When All My Disappointments Came At Once, charts his moving journey back from despair after a series of serious mid-life setbacks, guided by a love of lyrical poetry and its fertile traditions. This groundbreaking book is a Life Studies for our times. It confirms the human heart’s wonderful resilience, and Swift as a poet of the first rank, in terms of style, bravery and integrity of vision. Above all else it is filled with flamboyant poems of great depth and beauty.

“Swift is masterful… an interesting examination of midlife crises, the emotions tied to that, and the rays of hope and comedy that can emerge from those incidents.—Serena Augusto-Cox, Savvy Verse and Wit

About the Author

Dr Todd Swift is Lecturer in English Literature and Creative Writing, at Kingston University, London.  He is Director and Editor of the small press Eyewear Publishing.  Published by the age of 18 in The Fiddlehead, Swift is the prolific author of eight collections of poetry and many more pamphlets. He is editor or co-editor of a dozen anthologies, most recently Lung Jazz: Young British Poets for Oxfam, with a preamble from David Lehman.  His poems have appeared in numerous international publications, such as Poetry (Chicago), Poetry Review (London), and The Globe and Mail (Toronto).  His widely-read blog, Eyewear, has been archived by The British Library.  His PhD is from the University of East Anglia, and is concerned with poetic style and the British poets of the 1940s.  Swift, in his 20s, had a colourful series of freelance jobs, working for Penthouse magazine, and as story-editor on the cult anime show, Sailor Moon, as well as running Canada’s infamous poetry cabaret series, Vox Hunt, which The Globe and Mail called “virtually unique in North America”.  It was during that time, in the 90s, before his move to Budapest, that he was in the band Swifty Lazarus with Tom Walsh, which mixed spoken word and soundscapes in a new way.  Swift lived in Budapest then Paris, in his 30s, before settling in London in 2003. His key themes are sex, violence, religion, love, travel, and style, and he loves 80s music, 50s eyewear, 60s TV, 70s politics, and 40s cinema.

Posted in Catalogue, Poetry, poetrysale, Spring 2012, W | Tagged , , , , , |

Bone Dream-Moira MacDougall

Bone Dream, by Moira MacDougall
ISBN: 9781926639000
Price: $10—special sale price!
Pub Date: Spring 2009

Longlisted for the 2010 ReLit Award





The poems in Bone Dream are darkly sensuous, capturing the unspoken moments of life through images firmly grounded in the body and the material world.

Relationships, family and death are explored at times through the medium of a dancers body, and at other times through the everyday artifacts we find around us. These poems move, disturb and bring us to realization.

Click to read an excerpt from Bone Dream.

Bone Dream is an apt title for such a genuine and elegant debut. MacDougall weaves together the body and the mem­ory and the myth and the real to remind us that it is not the bone that holds up the body, giving strength to rise and descend, to twist and shift, to embrace and be embraced; rather it is the dream.”—Eric Schmaltz, Broken Pencil

Moira MacDougall is the assistant poetry editor of The Literary Review of Canada. She has had poems published in literary magazines and journals across the country. This is her first book length collection.

Posted in Award Nominees & Winners, B, Catalogue, Poetry, poetrysale, spring 2009, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , |