In Fauxccasional Poems, Daniel Scott Tysdal imagines himself into poetic voices not his own, writing to commemorate events that never occurred, for the posterity of alternative universes — and the delight of our own. From the reign of the first philosopher king once envisioned by Plato, to the twelfth-century Iroquois colonization of Europe, to Barack Obama's career as a poet, to the lasting peace to come under the rule of the Democratic Kampuchea Global Party, Tysdal envisions the paths not taken and what might have been. In these poems, the crew of the Enola Gay refuse to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, John F. Kennedy evades assassination, and Karl Marx moonlights as an agent provocateur for a capitalist consortium.
In a dizzying display of poetic insight, technical prowess, and playful parody, Fauxccasional Poems brings these alternate universes to life, forcing the reader to ponder the contingency of history and how each moment brings us to a thousand turning points. Despite our certainties, nothing is ever as it seems, and the future unfolds against our best designs. History is an unreliable vessel for the upwelling of our deepest hopes and fears, and in Tysdal's hands poetry shakes history by the lapels and shouts, "Wake up! Your time is now!"
Daniel Scott Tysdal
Daniel Scott Tysdal is the author of two previous books of poetry, The Mourner's Book of Albums and Predicting the Next Big Advertising Breakthrough Using a Potentially Dangerous Method, winner of the ReLit Award for Poetry, the Anne Szumigalski Poetry Award, and the John V. Hicks Award. Tysdal's poems have also appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies. His book The Writing Moment: A Practical Guide to Creating Poems was recently published by Oxford University Press. He teaches English at the University of Toronto Scarborough.
"What really marks this collection is Tysdal’s obvious fascination with and devotion to various poetic forms, both historical curiosities and ones still favoured by poets. There's something here for every news speculator, English major, and creative writing student. "
"Playful, dense, and brilliantly executed. "
"With its stunning range of forms and styles, Fauxccasional Poems is a feast for any poetry lover. "
"Tysdal channels the best fantasists and speculative writers, imaging all manner of premises and oddities, and in so doing, gives us a deeper appreciation of our own reality. "
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