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Best Bets for cli-po (climate poetry)
Today’s ALU Best Bets are for those readers that connect with nature and the world around them while holding a poetic outlook — for the cli-po (climate poetry) reader. How to Hold a Pebble (NeWest Press) by Jaspreet Singh presents intimate engagements with memory, place, language, migration, while also exploring strategies of survival. Wet Dream (Brick Books) by Erin Robinsong considers ecological thinking for living on a wet planet on fire.
How to Hold a Pebbleby Jaspreet Singh (NeWest Press)These pages present intimate engagements with memory, place, language, migration; with enchantment, uncanniness, uneven climate change and everyday decolonization; with entangled human/non-human relationships and deep anxieties about essential/non-essential economic activities. The poems explore strategies for survival and action by way of a playful return to the quotidian and its manifold interactions with the global and planetary.But you don’t have to take our word for it: “How to Hold a Pebble is a work of remarkable intellect. With empathy and playfulness, with startle and delight, Jaspreet Singh explores the fragility, beauty, and sorrow of the dreaming and waking worlds. These poems will continue to toll inside you. At times, they will turn you inside out.” — Donna Kane, author of Orrery, finalist for the 2020 Governor General’s Literary Award”As Rilke’s archaic torso was to Modernism, so is Jaspreet Singh’s pebble to our late-Anthropocene literary moment. Instead of beholding the high, White ideal of ‘pure’ stone, we must hold the earthy, water-worn pebble. It may or may not be too late to change our lives; still, we must take the pebble in hand, steward what remains of the multifarious planet Singh both mourns and celebrates. The poems keen and dance—and amazingly, offer comfort. Humor resides here, in the polyphonic play within and among languages, as well as vital guidance: ‘It [is]/impossible/to go back/the same way/we . . . entered’; ‘Keep creating disorder, live, do not simply versify the rhetoric of empire.” — Natania Rosenfeld, author of Wild Domestic and The Blue Bed“For those paying attention, Singh demonstrates the monumental task of mindfulness. He enacts the quiet appreciation of a pebble while facing up to the tragedies we have made of the world. Through lenses of science, art, and history, he stares down colonialism’s aftermath, environmental breakdown, and the collapse of intimacy. Despite often wishing to forget, this thoughtful poet holds to the necessity of being “a believer / in the task of witnessing.” Like him, we must resist the urge to blink.” — John Barton, author of We Are Not Avatars and Lost FamilyHow to Hold a Pebble
Wet Dream by Erin Robinsong (Brick Books)Wet Dream is an expansive book of ecological thinking for living on a wet planet on fire. Erotic and political, vibrating with pleasures, medicines, and unrest, these poems metabolize toxic logics and traverse enmeshed ecologies through the wetness that connects. A pulse of agency to the heart.But you don’t have to take our word for it: “Wet Dream is brain lube for an insurgent language—creaturely poems that remake your body and relation to the world. I want to smear them all over.” — Astrida Neimanis, author of Bodies of Water: Posthuman Feminist Phenomenology“Erin Robinsong’s Wet Dream is a dazzling torrent of brilliance shot thru with genuinely delicious barbs of disgust, of precision. To read Wet Dream is to tune your ear to ecstasy as the highest form of knowledge, and to a very necessary liquefaction of mere intelligence, a churning of the ore of higher, higher, highest mind. I love this book. It resurrected me in a very cold winter, and primed me for rebirth.” — Ariana Reines, author of A Sand Book“Amongst the vagaries of what we have called ecopoetry, I want to reach out from the dissolving liquid commons to hold this book up as exhibit A—beautiful, trenchant, urgent, deeply thought and felt, wide hot wet generous and wild.” — Stephen Collis, author of A History of the Theories of RainWet Dream
* * *There’s more where that came from: catch up on other Best Bets books and get a sneak-peek on what’s to come, right here.If you have your own accolades for these books to add, please do! Share in the comments below or on socials @alllitupcanada, with the hashtag #ALUbestbets.