Most things have no reason. Why you leave a lover or join another, why you choose to stay where you live; these questions you may have no answer for. Or the answers change. Cloudy with a Fire in the Basement explores living from an awareness that has no reference points, that carries the risk of making no sense, of losing others who may require it, of understanding that there’s no safety. The poems go toward these notions, even if the writer is fleeing. Within Bloom's new poems exists an attempt toward freedom that demands looking at whatever the psyche revolts against or craves. By hawking an eye on human experience that has previously been rejected or desired—cruelty, love, grief, a good fitting pair of jeans, God — the poems investigate stuck places and too-tight habits. They skitter and rest, and lie down in the chaos and the quiet, in the overwhelming, tragic, sequinned world; and occasionally they alight in reality. Previous booksFear of the Ride, Carleton University Press, 1996Personal Effects, Pedlar Press, 2000Public Works, Pedlar Press, 2004Permiso, Pedlar Press, 2009
RONNA BLOOM is the author of four books of poetry, most recently, Permiso (Pedlar Press, 2009), shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Award. Her poems have been translated into Spanish and Bengali and broadcast on CBC Radio. Her work appeared in "Poetry is Public is Poetry," an initiative of Toronto Poet Laureate Dionne Brand, which showcases and celebrates the work of Canadian poets to help transform Toronto's public realm into a forum for the written word. Bloom works as a writing teacher and psychotherapist. She has led workshops across Canada and abroad, and currently is Poet in Community at the University of Toronto. www.ronnabloom.com
Beth Follett lives in St. John's NL and is the publisher of Pedlar Press. Her first novel, Tell It Slant, was published in 2001 by Coach House.
“Bloom’s synthesis of contradictory passions into graceful poetics connects Permiso to writing by Adrienne Rich ( Dark Fields of the Republic), Anne Carson ( The Beauty of the Husband), Esta Spalding ( The Wife’s Account). Thinkers, feelers, in conversation with the music of language, building on the gift of accepting almost any sound — in this case any subject matter — as permissible textures for honest poems. ”Meg Walker, The Globe & Mail
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