Nerve Squall

By Sylvia Legris

Nerve Squall
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Winner of the 2006 Griffin Poetry Prize

Sonic
congestion.

Purgatorial
traffic jam: corkscrewing

countercochlearwise
the only way out.

Nerve Squall is a field guide like no other, a surreal handbook to a landscape at the crossroads of meteorology and neurology, where the electrical ... Read more


Overview

Winner of the 2006 Griffin Poetry Prize

Sonic
congestion.

Purgatorial
traffic jam: corkscrewing

countercochlearwise
the only way out.

Nerve Squall is a field guide like no other, a surreal handbook to a landscape at the crossroads of meteorology and neurology, where the electrical storms without and the electrical impulses within converge.

Legris’s fascination with weather, ghosts and brain disorders is the starting point for a collection of poetry that ensures you’ll never look at nature the same way again. You’ll find snow golems and ghost cats, and a sky filled with fish swimming the winds of a storm. And you’ll find a haunted terrain where the natural world becomes an allegory for our most intimate fears.

Despite their dark and often cinematic approach, these poems are also tinged with a sly, apocalyptic wit that can’t help but laugh as the sky falls.

Nerve Squall is a vital exploration of the symbiosis of storm, nerve and language, a sure-handed guide to the end of the world.

‘Legris loves language, the way it radiates, not just for what it can say by syntactic regularity and accumulation, but for its cellular resonances … Powerful resonance is created over a whole page with a minimum of words, in a sculpture that hardly qualifies as verse as we commonly know it. But there is no question that it is poetry, and [that it] is the use of words at its most pared. Here is Legris’ brilliance, her knife-edged attention at its finest. ’

Open Letter

Sylvia Legris

Nerve Squall is Sylvia Legris’s third book-length poetry collection; her previous books are iridium seeds and circuitry of veins. She has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, in 2001 she won the Malahat Review’s Long Poem Prize for ‘Fishblood Sky,’ and she received an Honorable Mention in the poetry category of the 2004 National Magazine Awards. She is currently a resident in the state of fidgety fretfulness.

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