Boat

By Lisa Robertson

Boat
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From the author of The Baudelaire Fractal, a poetry classic, with new work

In 2004, boldly original poet Lisa Robertson published a chapbook, Rousseau’s Boat, poems culled from years of notebooks that are, nevertheless, by no means autobiographical. In 2010, she expanded the ... Read more


Overview

From the author of The Baudelaire Fractal, a poetry classic, with new work

In 2004, boldly original poet Lisa Robertson published a chapbook, Rousseau’s Boat, poems culled from years of notebooks that are, nevertheless, by no means autobiographical. In 2010, she expanded the work into a full-length book, R’s Boat. During the pandemic, she was drawn back into decades of journals to shape Boat. These poems bring fresh vehemence to Robertson’s ongoing examination of the changing shape of feminism, the male-dominated philosophical tradition, the daily forms of discourse, and the possibilities of language itself.

“Robertson has quietly but surely emerged as one of our most exciting and prolific philosophers—I mean poets. Interested in architecture, weather systems, fashion, autobiography, gender, the classics, and just about everything else, she manages to irradiate her subjects with calm, wit, and astonishing beauty. Robertson’s style is both on splendid display and under fierce interrogation in her latest book, R’s Boat. ” Kenyon Review

“In R’s Boat, Robertson has penned a post-conceptual, post-lyric, relentlessly self-examining performance of memory and sincerity that manages, remarkably, to be both theoretically concerned and deeply emotive. ” Harvard Review

R's Boat grapples with form, the constraint of language and tradition, and the challenge to avoid anything that might exist as template. The poems examine feminism, discourse, the body, and poetry itself through sumptuous, seductive language. ” American Poets

Lisa Robertson

Lisa Robertson is a Canadian poet and essayist. Born in Toronto in 1961, she was a longtime resident of Vancouver, where in the early 90s she began writing, publishing and collaborating in a community of artists and poets that included Artspeak Gallery and The Kootenay School of Writing. She has continued these activities for 30 years, publishing books, leaflets and posters, translating poetry and linguistics from French, lecturing and teaching internationally, and continuing her ongoing study into the political constitution of lyric voice. In 2017 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Letters by Emily Carr University of Art and Design, and in 2018, the Foundation for the Contemporary Arts in NY awarded her the inaugural CD Wright Award in Poetry. She has taught at Cambridge University, Princeton, UC Berkeley, California College of the Arts, Piet Zwart Institute, Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics and American University of Paris, as well as holding research and residency positions at institutions across Canada, the US, and Europe. Lisa currently lives in France.

Reviews

“Robertson has quietly but surely emerged as one of our most exciting and prolific philosophers—I mean poets. Interested in architecture, weather systems, fashion, autobiography, gender, the classics, and just about everything else, she manages to irradiate her subjects with calm, wit, and astonishing beauty. Robertson’s style is both on splendid display and under fierce interrogation in her latest book, R’s Boat. ” Kenyon Review

R's Boat grapples with form, the constraint of language and tradition, and the challenge to avoid anything that might exist as template. The poems examine feminism, discourse, the body, and poetry itself through sumptuous, seductive language. ” American Poets

“In R’s Boat, Robertson has penned a post-conceptual, post-lyric, relentlessly self-examining performance of memory and sincerity that manages, remarkably, to be both theoretically concerned and deeply emotive. ” Harvard Review

"A difficult work of ideas, by turns enlightening and arcane, part autobiographical narrative, part literary theory, Robertson’s debut novel, for those interested in possibilities of fiction, is not to be missed. " Publishers Weekly on The Baudelaire Fractal

'This is the third installment in an expanding project, begun in 2004, based on what the experimental poet calls “indexical readings” of her daily notebooks. Drawn from a combination of old and new sample of the latter, two new sections, “The Hut” and “The Tiny Notebooks of Night,” showcase the Baudelaire Fractal author’s trademark lyric inscrutability. ' – Emily Donaldson, The Globe & Mail

"Boat plays with memory and nostalgia; trawling through Robertson’s journals, the collection’s patchwork recreates the disjunctive ambiguity of one life-history. " – Cecily Fasham, Oxford Review of Books

"Lisa Robertson’s Boat works against the certainties much poetry strives to achieve. " – Dan Beachy-Quick, Poetry Foundation

"For Robertson, drifting is both a practice and a style. " – Andrea Brady, London Review of Books

"Robertson, with feminist wit, a dash of kink, and a generous brain, has written an urtext that tenders there can be, in fact, or in fiction, no such thing. Hers is a boon for readers and writers, now and in the future. " Bookforum on The Baudelaire Fractal

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