By (author): Phil Hall

I am sitting outside at dawn on Otty Lake, where I live, in the woods. The light is coming over the trees, and each morning the poem is written as if right while it is being read…

The lyric weaving of honesty about the self-toward revelation & transformation.

My poetics has widened, here, to include more space, more primitive sounds and glyphs, less metaphor, less anecdote, more tangential conjugating…

My poetics, in its growing inclusiveness, is not sad but hopeful.

The term “conjugation” refers to more than the obvious grammatical movement of pronouns through time (I am / you are / they will be). For, in Biology, it also refers to the transfer of information between cells. And Conjugation, the new collection of poetry from award-winning poet Phil Hall, sees an open realm where individual letters inside a word are each rolling through their possibilities, from A to Z. Thereby, the language in this collection travels into and out of itself, as Hall says, “escaping my ego, while revealing, word by slightly different word, my deeper connections and disconnections to things—to what used to be called poetry’s ‘subjects.’”

As much care was taken with the writing of this collection as the shaping of the poems themselves. Replete with images of the natural world and in some cases, the mechanisms that transform it-horses, leaping fish, trees, canals and locks—Conjugation signals a return to the nature/nurture elements that have wound their way through his earlier collections, but also a versed ode to the discouragement that many Canadians have felt about the progression of their country and government over the past number of years.


Phil Hall

Phil Hall is a writer, editor, and teacher. His first book, Eighteen Poems, was published in 1973. Among his many published titles are: Old Enemy Juice (1988); The Unsaid (1992); Hearthedral–A Folk-Hermetic (1996); An Oak Hunch (2005); White Porcupine (Book*hug, 2007); Killdeer (Book*hug, 2011; winner of the 75th Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry and the Trillium Book Prize, and shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize); Small Nouns Crying Faith (Book*hug, 2013); Guthrie Clothing: The Poetry of Phil Hall, a Selected Collage (2015); and My Banjo and Tiny Drawings (2015). Hall has taught writing at York University, Ryerson University, Seneca College, George Brown College, and elsewhere. Phil lives with his wife near Perth, Ontario.


“Hall’s gaze is not simply inward: these meditative poems take in the rural landscape of Eastern Ontario, the words of writers whose influence he honours and the nature of language itself. Like an auto mechanic working on an engine, he takes words and phrases apart, examines how they work, and tinkers.” —Barb Carey, Toronto Star


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112 Pages
10.00in * 7.00in * .30in


March 02, 2016


Book*hug Press



Book Subjects:

POETRY / Canadian

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