A love affair chronicled -- from obsession to heartbreak, foolhardiness to faith.
In Love Outlandish, Barry Dempster undoes all the clichés that have barnacled our love lives and, with the zest and courage typical of his work, explores their torrents and eddies afresh. As in his previous books, Dempster responds to D. H. Lawrence's plea that we should discover and articulate what the heart really wants rather than some idealized version of it. Thoughtful, passionate, full of humour and self-aware wit, Love Outlandish delivers, again and again, the shock of recognition that permits us to laugh at, and with, the very emotions it probes. This is a book to relish for its energy and cherish for its wisdom.
My favourite is the one where his love
keeps trouncing distance
even after she's gone, making
harmonies out of death rattles.
It's the crack in his heart
where the melody lingers, the hiss
of an old 45. How can I help
but sing along, hard, hard song,
-- from "Hard Song"
". ..Barry Dempster trains his poetic gaze on the lonely marrow inside love, and blows it wide open. "-- Jeanette Lynes
"Talk about luscious, limber language! The wonderful poems of Barry Dempster in Love Outlandish extend the possibilities of 'love lives' themselves -- what doesn't quite work out becomes, thanks to careful, original imagery and vibrant description, somehow as magnetic and translucent as what does. .." -- Naomi Shihab Nye
Barry Dempster was born in Toronto, Ontario, and educated in child psychology. He is the author of a novel, children's literature and over a dozen collections of poetry. His work has been nominated for the Governor General's Award twice and won the Canadian Authors Association Chalmers Award for poetry. From 1990 to 1997, he was the Poetry and Reviews Editor for Poetry Canada. He is currently the senior editor with Brick Books. He has been on the faculty at The Banff Centre as mentor for the Writing Studio, Wired Writing and Writing with Style programs, has conducted two master classes and has been the Writer-in-Residence at the Richmond Hill Public Library twice.
" . .. This is no mere collection of sentimental valentines -- in these poems, love is ecstatic, brutal, angry, lustful, comical, nostalgic, grief-stricken -- and Dempster has brought all of his skills and experience and creative tenacity to bear on what ought to be a very popular book. "--Paul Vermeersch, The Globe and Mail
"While layered with metaphors, the tone is colloquial, with a wry wit even in the depths of despair . .. "--Mike Borkent, Canadian Literature
"When one reads Dempster's love lyrics, one sees the perfection of the lyric form . .. these short bursts of chaotic feeling erupting, coalescing, and then receding, tracing the gamut of possibilities that love may run. " --Marc Thackray, Journal of Canadian Poetry
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