Toward. Some. Air. is an unprecedented collection of contemporary poetics from Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Here, poet and scholar Amy De'Ath and former Parliamentary Poet Laureate Fred Wah collect a wide range of conversations, statements, essays, profiles, and poems and place these often radical and interdisciplinary approaches in proximal relation to each other. The result is an open invitation to consider the contours and meaning of Anglophone poetic practice, as a mode of interpreting the world, as a potential for transforming subjectivity, or something else entirely. With over forty contributors, Toward. Some. Air. is an invaluable resource for readers, students, teachers and writers. Contributing Authors include Kirsten Emiko McAllister, Caroline Bergvall, Anne Boyer, Sean Bonney & Steve Collis, Andrea Brady, Dionne Brand, Nicole Brossard, Louis Cabri, J. R. Carpenter; cris cheek, CAConrad, Maria Damon, Amy De'Ath, Jeff Derksen, Lori Emerson, Liz Howard, Peter Jaeger, Reg Johanson, David Jhave Johnston, Justin Katko & Jow Lindsay, Larissa Lai, Peter Manson, Roy Miki, Nicole Markoti? & Michael Davidson, Daphne Marlatt, Nick Montfort, Fred Moten, Stuart Moulthrop, José Esteban Muñoz, Eileen Myles, Hoa Nguyen, Sina Queyras, Lisa Robertson, Steven Ross Smith, Kaia Sand, Dale Smith, Juliana Spahr, Brian Kim Stefans, Christine Stewart, Stephanie Strickland, Keston Sutherland, Keith Tuma, Catherine Wagner, Fred Wah, Darren Wershler, Rita Wong & Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm, and Rachel Zolf.
Fred Wah is from the Kootenay region of southeast British Columbia. He is best known for his biofiction, Diamond Grill (1996). Scree: The Collected Earlier Poems 1962-1991 was published in 2015. Other recent collections of poetry are Sentenced to Light, is a door, and The False Laws of Narrative. He was Canada's Parliamentary Poet Laureate 2011-2013 and lives in Vancouver. Amy De'Ath's poetry chapbooks include ON MY LOVE FOR gender abolition (Capricious 2016), Lower Parallel (Barque 2014), Caribou (Bad Press 2011), and Erec & Enide (Salt 2010). Her criticism has appeared in Women: A Cultural Review, Anguish Language (Archive Books 2015), and Cambridge Literary Review. She is a PhD Candidate at Simon Fraser University and lives in Vancouver, on unceded Coast Salish Territories.Amy De'Ath is a PhD candidate at Simon Fraser University, where she researches Marxist Feminist poetics. She was previously based in London, UK and in 2011 was Poet in Residence at the University of Surrey. Her poetry books include Erec & Enide, Caribou, and Lower Parallel. She now lives in Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories.
Fred Wah studied music and English literature at the University of British Columbia in the early 1960s, where he was one of the founding editors of the poetry newsletter TISH.
He has published books of poetry, fiction, and criticism. His book of prose poems, Waiting For Saskatchewan, received the Governor General’s Award in 1986, and So Far was awarded the Stephanson Award for Poetry in 1992. Diamond Grill, a biofiction about hybridity and growing up in a small-town Chinese Canadian cafe was published in 1996 and won the Howard O’Hagan Award for Short Fiction. Faking It: Poetics and Hybridity was awarded the Gabrielle Roy Prize for Writing on Canadian literature in 2000, and is a door won the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize in 2009.
Wah was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2012. He served as Canada’s Parliamentary Poet Laureate from 2011 to 2013.
Much of this formidable volume will set hackles rising, some of it will smooth hackles and render them fur again - post-anthropocene, animal, and freely passioned. All of it will, hopefully, foment revolution. As the title suggests, the revolution will unfold incrementally - directions must be chosen, footsteps must be taken and then hasten, and the prospect for now only hovers on the horizon. But here are the voices of invitation. These may be last poets, but they are also first. Read this book freely and frequently and stay alert. ---Lyn Hejinian.
This is a major work of thinking in poetry, using poetry's mechanisms alongside the pull of discourse, extending the multiple reaches of poetic practice. Its nodes are rich: a plurality of digital voices, the creative use of linguistics, topologies of listening, polylingualism, "exception" syntax, "meddled" English, and more. The book is not justification, but tool. Open and read where it grabs you, make it your own map and gyroscope, your book of recipes for utopia, which is to say: poems. ---Erin Moure.
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