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.
Born in Swift Current, Saskatchewan in 1939, celebrated Canadian poet Fred Wah was raised in the interior of British Columbia. He is the author of over 20 published works of poetry and prose-poetry, including the award-winning creative non-fiction Diamond Grill, the tenth anniversary edition of which was released in the fall of 2006. Other notable titles by Wah include his book of poetry Waiting For Saskatchewan (Turnstone Press), winner of a Governor General’s Award in 1985, and Faking it: Poetics and Hybridity, winner of the Gabrielle Roy Prize for Writing in Canadian literature. In 2008, he published a collection of poetic image/text projects titled Sentenced to Light (Talonbooks), and in 2010, he won the Dorothy Livesay BC Book Prize for poetry for is a door (Talonbooks).Fred Wah was one of the founding editors of the poetry journal TISH. After graduate work in literature and linguistics at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and the State University of New York in Buffalo, where he worked with Robert Creeley and Charles Olson, he returned to Canada. He has been involved in teaching internationally in poetry and poetics since the early 1960s. In 2011, Wah became Canada's Parliamentary Poet Laureate, the fifth poet to do so. In 2013, he was made an Officer in the Order of Canada. Fred Wah currently works and lives in Vancouver.
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.
Tell us what you think!
Sign Up or Sign In to add your review or comment.
Related Blog Posts