Against the Hard Angle

By Matt Robinson

Against the Hard Angle
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The two sections that comprise matt robinson’s fourth full-length volume of poetry, Against the Hard Angle, though disparate in terms of form ? the first consisting primarily of a long poem; the other a collection of shorter lyrical pieces ? nonetheless share a common concern ... Read more


Overview

The two sections that comprise matt robinson’s fourth full-length volume of poetry, Against the Hard Angle, though disparate in terms of form ? the first consisting primarily of a long poem; the other a collection of shorter lyrical pieces ? nonetheless share a common concern with ideas of relationship and its examination. At their core, these are poems about where we stand in relation to the rest of our various worlds. In the collection’s opening section, the eponymous (and 2009 Malahat Review Long Poem Award winning) ?against the hard angle” steadily develops a grudging momentum, all the while searching for a way to articulate loss, in the end becoming a kind of meditative catalogue of relationship breakdown and divorce. The second section takes as its immediate subject matter a different sort of relationship altogether. Having returned home after nearly a decade elsewhere, these are poems that reference robinson’s native Halifax, NS, more specifically and vividly than in his previous work; these are lines with ?the near / magical pull of some deep-seeded magnet now spinning, / we’d guess, completely / and fully out of control ? a crazed, elemental / ballet.” Part extended love song to and for a city and part meditation on what a city can both say to and about us, Against the Hard Angle uses some of Halifax’s most and least famous places as jumping off points for a stop-and-start lyrical tour of eastern Canada’s largest urban centre, a sometimes fraught journey that leaves us ?all tendon-tensed, / against impact, near white-knuckled to / breakage.”

Matt Robinson

Matt Robinson’s previous poetry collections include Against the Hard Angle (2010), no cage contains a stare that well (2005), how we play at it: a list (2002), and A Ruckus of Awkward Stacking (2000), as well as numerous chapbooks. Robinson has won the Grain Prose Poetry Prize, the Petra Kenney Award, and The Malahat Review Long Poem Prize, among others. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with his family.

 

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