For It Is a Pleasure and a Surprise to Breathe
By Gary Barwin
For thirty-five years, award-winning poet Gary Barwin has been opening up new ways of being in poetry. In this long-awaited new and selected volume, For It Is a Pleasure and a Surprise to Breathe, Barwin and his editor, Alessandro Porco, have drawn from his extensive writings ... Read more
For thirty-five years, award-winning poet Gary Barwin has been opening up new ways of being in poetry. In this long-awaited new and selected volume, For It Is a Pleasure and a Surprise to Breathe, Barwin and his editor, Alessandro Porco, have drawn from his extensive writings in previously published books, chapbooks, small press works, magazine and journal publications, as well from unpublished and uncollected works, to create a category-defying collection. With audacity and the occasional wisecrack and pun, too, his work uses a variety of forms and styles to investigate aesthetics, identity, culture, ecopoetics and questions of language. Throughout, Barwin stretches language to its fullest extent, whether he's exploring alternative translations or working with visual poems that explore and exploit the borderblur between poetry and art. This collection will surprise, delight and move readers, and it establishes Barwin as one of Canada's most accomplished and important poets.
Gary Barwin is a poet, fiction writer, composer and performer. His music and writing have been performed and broadcast in Canada, the U.S. and Europe. His publications include poetry: Outside the Hat, Raising Eyebrows, Servants of Dust, anus porcupine eyebrow and frogments from the frag pool (with derek beaulieu) ; and fiction: Doctor Weepand other Strange Teeth, Big Red Baby and The Mud Game (a novel with Stuart Ross). Forthcoming books include The Obvious Flap (with Gregory Betts) and Kafka Franzlations: A Guide to the Imaginary Parables (with Hugh Thomas and Craig Conley). He was the co-winner of the 2009 bpNichol chapbook award for Inverting the Deer and was a recipient of the K. M. Hunter Foundation Artist award. He edits supernova tadpole editions for Paper Kite Press. Barwin is also the author of several books for kids, including Seeing Stars, which was nominated for a CLA YA Book of the Year and an Arthur Ellis Award. He lives in Hamilton, Ontario, with his wife and three children.
Praise for Gary Barwin
"Author Gary Barwin . . . is producing some of the most innovative creative works of our time. " - Utne Reader
"Among contemporary poets, Barwin stands out as exceptional for his ability to plunder the synesthetic splendor of words. His poems seem to lift from the printed page and nosedive into other sensory dimensions . . . Under Barwin's gaze, the world as we know it is continually stretched, jolted, and tweaked. " - Foreword Reviews
"Barwin's poems are struck through with a wide-eyed wonder, and when they aren't revelling in the sound of language or crafting crazed imaginings, they work to dig out the strangeness of the everyday. " - Winnipeg Free Press
"As adept at lyricism as he is at the more conceptual poetries he tends to favour. It's not every poet who can display a decided mastery of the Oulipian N+7 noun substitution method in one poem, and break your heart in the next, but Barwin has the skill and versatility to do just that. " - Fiddlehead