The Richard Brautigan Ahhhhhhhhhhh
By rob mclennan
The Richard Brautigan Ahhhhhhhhhhh covers the range of love, loss and learning that have made rob mclennan one of the most exciting young poets in Canada. The language of the poems, though thoroughly grounded in the media culture of television and film, casts a deceptively familiar ... Read more
The Richard Brautigan Ahhhhhhhhhhh covers the range of love, loss and learning that have made rob mclennan one of the most exciting young poets in Canada. The language of the poems, though thoroughly grounded in the media culture of television and film, casts a deceptively familiar veil over the breadth and depth of reading which inform this work—from the seventeenth century platonist mystics to what his companions on the poetry trail were writing at last night’s soirée, a crowd of voices, asides, references, allusions and whispers is constantly pushing and expanding his line forward. marvellously self-taught in the school of poets, mclennan’s work is refreshingly free of pretence and category. The impressive and exhaustive range of poets and writers with whom he has learned is simply there, in his work-present, in the current text, not absent in some far, or even near, distant past. This is the work of a young man who has paid his dues and done his homework. There is also a kind of subtle humour here, born of the care with which mclennan keeps his lines clear of the dead-ends of self-consciousness, allowing the language to free itself from the page, and to be heard as well as read.
Born in Ottawa, Canada's glorious capital city, rob mclennan currently lives in Ottawa, where he is home full-time with the two wee girls he shares with Christine McNair. The author of more than thirty trade books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, he won the John Newlove Poetry Award in 2010, the Council for the Arts in Ottawa Mid-Career Award in 2014, and was longlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize in 2012 and 2017. In March, 2016, he was inducted into the VERSe Ottawa Hall of Honour. His most recent poetry titles include A halt, which is empty (Mansfield Press, 2019), Life sentence, (Spuyten Duyvil, 2019) and the book of smaller (University of Calgary Press, 2022). In spring 2020, he won 'best pandemic beard' from Coach House Books via Twitter, of which he is extremely proud (and mentions constantly). He spent the 2007-8 academic year in Edmonton as writer-in-residence at the University of Alberta, and regularly posts reviews, essays, interviews and other notices at robmclennan.blogspot.com.
“Just the right combination of details … carefully crafted, each line shifting the image slightly … “
— Books in Canada