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

Poet and essayist Lisa Robertson has held residencies at the California College of the Arts, Cambridge University; University of California, Berkeley; UC San Diego; and American University of Paris. Her books include Cinema of the Present, Debbie: An Epic (nominated for the Governor General’s Award in Canada), The Men, The Weather, R's Boat (poetry) and Occasional Works and Seven Walks from the Office for Soft Architecture (essays). Lisa Robertson’s Magenta Soul Whip (Coach House) was named one of The New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2010, and was longlisted for the 2011 Warwick Prize for Writing. She currently lives in France.

Reviews

"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

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

"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

“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

'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

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