Dwell

By Jeff Derksen

Dwell
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A long poem that blends and bends the lyric, procedural poetry, the travelogue and extended forms, Dwell lives in, or dwells on, the interaction of a restless subjectivity with the seemingly transparent, yet identifiable, social codes that encase us.


Overview

A long poem that blends and bends the lyric, procedural poetry, the travelogue and extended forms, Dwell lives in, or dwells on, the interaction of a restless subjectivity with the seemingly transparent, yet identifiable, social codes that encase us.

Jeff Derksen

Jeff Derksen is a founding member of Vancouver’s writer-run centre, the Kootenay School of Writing, and has worked as an editor of Writing magazine. As an editor, Derksen also organized “Disgust and Overdetermination: a poetics issue,” for Open Letter and “Poetry and the Long Neoliberal Moment” for West Coast Line. His poetry and critical writing on art, urbanism, and text have been published in Europe and North America, including in the anthologies East of Main and Verse: Postmodern Poetry and Language Writing. His Down Time won the 1991 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, and a selection from Dwell – “Host Nation, Host Society” – was nominated for inclusion in the anthology The Gertrude Stein Awards in Innovative North American Poetry: 1993. Formerly a research fellow at the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics at the City University of New York, Derksen currently teaches in the Department of English at Simon Fraser University. He also collaborates on visual art and research projects (focusing on urban issues) with the research collective Urban Subjects.

Reviews

Dwell … offer[s] an unsimplified and penetrating look at our time and place, where meaning and significance alter and blend. Derksen invites his readers to take part in this process. ” – Vox

“As Jeff Derksen approaches family and personal life, at home and abroad, his work comes down to earth, becomes more serious, more analytical, optimistic, precise, and fragile. The word tour economic; a life’s work, critique, focus, attending to, listening a living, an expression of insolitude among domestic monuments and affairs of state. ” – Melanie Neilson

Dwell provides just the right kind of fin de siècle topo map required to reconnoiter our present bearings. Derksen’s accurate delineation of narrative edge coloured by layers of diction’s own superfluousness is a rare and honest measure of a world that’s signed out. In language that’s resolute in its probe for meaningful coordinates, these poems ‘fulfill’ their own codes, absorb ‘all (our) private space. ’ We’ll never get home without them. ” – Fred Wah

Dwell is a compassionate and humane book, the product (nice package) of a personality engaged in analysis of meaning-making. And I feel I’ve been reading the presence of a life in its pages … a breathing friction. It’s like listening to music in its privileging of experience over knowledge. ” – Prairie Fire

Dwell is a compassionate and humane book, the product (nice package) of a personality engaged in analysis of meaning-making. And I feel I’ve been reading the presence of a life in its pages … a breathing friction. It’s like listening to music in its privileging of experience over knowledge. ” – Prairie Fire

“[A] canny text, astute and sharp. This a brilliant mind at work, dwelling in, dwelling on. ”
Books in Canada

Dwell provides just the right kind of fin de siècle topo map required to reconnoiter our present bearings. Derksen’s accurate delineation of narrative edge coloured by layers of diction’s own superfluousness is a rare and honest measure of a world that’s signed out. In language that’s resolute in its probe for meaningful coordinates, these poems ‘fulfill’ their own codes, absorb ‘all (our) private space. ’ We’ll never get home without them. ” – Fred Wah

“As Jeff Derksen approaches family and personal life, at home and abroad, his work comes down to earth, becomes more serious, more analytical, optimistic, precise, and fragile. The word tour economic; a life’s work, critique, focus, attending to, listening a living, an expression of insolitude among domestic monuments and affairs of state. ” – Melanie Neilson

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