The Negation of Chronology

By Rebecca Luce-Kapler

The Negation of Chronology
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Geraldine Moodie, granddaughter of Susanna Moodie, was the first woman to own photography studios on the Canadian prairies and create an extensive oeuvre. Geraldine owned three photography studios (Battleford, Maple Creek, and Medicine Hat), raised six children, and followed ... Read more


Overview

Geraldine Moodie, granddaughter of Susanna Moodie, was the first woman to own photography studios on the Canadian prairies and create an extensive oeuvre. Geraldine owned three photography studios (Battleford, Maple Creek, and Medicine Hat), raised six children, and followed her husband, J. D., to eight different Northwest Mounted Police postings from the Prairies to Northern Canada. The one constant in her peripatetic life was her art--drawing and photography--and what she accomplished is remarkable. This collection of poetry casts light on Geraldine's life, using her photographs and biographical details available through letters, newspaper articles, and family interviews collected by curator Donny White. With those fragments, the poet imagines the woman behind the lens, considers possible motives for her decisions and actions, and celebrates her life and work.

Rebecca Luce-Kapler

Rebecca Luce-Kapler has published over forty poems in a number of literary journals across Canada and is author of The Gardens Where She Dreams. Her book, Writing With, Through, and Beyond the Text: An Ecology of Language, has been used in numerous academic contexts. Currently, she is the Dean of the Faculty of Education, Queen's University in Kingston, and finds that her work as a poet keeps her connected to beauty and calm, as does her home on a lake north of Kingston, Ontario.

Reviews

"With exquisite and taut detail, Rebecca Luce-Kapler's poetry takes us into the life of Canada's first female photographer. Was Geraldine Moodie's lens drawn to the exotic in the Canadian West? Or did her singular approach to photography disrupt her generation's romantic and colonizing notions of the 'noble savage'? These compelling poems are a result of Luce-Kapler's deep research and her skill in capturing the illuminating moments that reveal a life. The Negation of Chronology is the untold story of a remarkable woman. "
--Lorri Neilsen Glenn, poet and essayist

"Sustained attention lit by flashes of brilliance--the poems in The Negation of Chronology exhibit the same assurance and artistry as the photographs taken by their remarkable subject, Geraldine Moodie. Historically precise, deeply imagined, and multi-focal, this is a sequence to study and savour. "--Susan Olding, author of Pathologies: A Life in Essays

"The Negation of Chronology captures the spirit of a remarkable woman in remarkable times. In these stunning, evocative poems, we are offered a portrait of Geraldine Moodie as both fluid and fixed in time, a female photographer grappling with objectification and the struggle for agency, filtered through the lens of her private and professional selves. Rebecca Luce Kapler renders a complex daguerreotype: a visual interplay of the shadow and light of a marriage, the Canadian prairie and northern landscapes, and the unspoken inner life of a woman artist. "
--Gail Sidonie Sobat, author of How the Light is Spent

"Red-haired, courageous Geraldine Moodie, granddaughter of Susannah Moodie and great-niece of Catharine Parr Traill, was a pioneering Canadian photographer, preserving images of Cree and Inuit life and of the far North. Rebecca Luce-Kapler's The Negation of Chronology reclaims one of our foremothers, while catching the sweep of a remarkable life and the stillness and stopped life of enduring photographs This is a beautiful book. "
-- Elizabeth Greene, editor of The Dowager Empress: Poems by Adele Wiseman, author of A Season Among Psychics

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