Elizabeth Smart, author of By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept (1945), has been heralded as a complicated and passion fuelled artist who dared to live in disregard of the burdensome expectations for women in the first half of the last century. 97 Positions of the Heart is a lyrical travelogue through the courageous life of this Canadian writer. Poet Jaik Josephson mines both her biography and literary catalogue to escort the reader into her remarkable world. Each poem charts SmartÕs persistent quest to resist the forces that sought to claim and silence her. Text is paired with illustrations by Erin Josephson-Laidlaw to reveal a vast emotional range that meditates upon ElizabethÕs bewildering childhood, a tumultuous romantic pairing with English writer, George Barker, the experience of motherhood and her pursuit of a prosaic language that speaks a truth about life in the social margins.
I am ready for a teetering walk in the dark
on those highest of heels.
I am ready for that merciful car.
Ready to ride to where suckling jazz wails feral,
to where my people smoke and laugh absurd in their feathers and uncaring.
Jaik JosephsonÕs poetry has been published in Shared Wisdom: A Poetry Anthology and Prairie Fire. He has particular interest in fusing theatre and poetry. Six of his pieces were incorporated into Coming into Autumn, a multi-disciplinary work by Naomi Cooke and Brent Lott. Jaik is the author of The Colour of Vowels, a play based on the life and poetry of Arthur Rimbaud (workshopped by Theatre Projects Manitoba in 2001 and with a staged performance in 2002).
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