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
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.