Taking Measures

By (author): George Bowering

Edited by: Stephen Collis

The first-ever collection of the major serial poems by Canada’s inaugural Parliamentory Poet Laureate, George Bowering, Taking Measures includes work from each of the last six decades, beginning with Bowering’s engagement with process-based long poems in the 1960s and 1970s and moving through his continued exploration of the form in recent decades. Containing well-known Bowering texts, including Allophanes, Autobiology, Delayed Mercy, Genève, and Kerrisdale Elegies, as well as Baseball, At War with the U.S., Irritable Reaching, Smoking Mirror, Do Sink, His Life, and Los Pájanos de Tenacatita, Taking Measures offers a new and revealing look at this acclaimed and prolific author’s poetic development and contribution to Canadian writing.

The serial poem is a hybrid genre, stitching short lyrics together into sequential, long (typically book-length) poems; Bowering’s innovative use of the form, always rooted in an engagement with place, with language, and with the intertwining of the two, shows him at his experimental and irreverent best, his trademark playful seriousness extended and expanded, producing poetry that remains compelling, complex, and exciting decades after its composition. Edited by the award-winning poet Stephen Collis, Taking Measures offers a career-spanning and revelatory sample of one of Canada’s best-known and most versatile writers.

AUTHOR

George Bowering

George Bowering was born and brought up in the Okanagan Valley of Pinboy. He published his first book of poems when he was 28. Since then, he has published 100 or so books and chapbooks, won Governor General’s Awards for his poetry and fiction, was the first Parliamentary Poet Laureate of Canada, and has received both the Order of British Columbia and the Order of Canada. He now lives a few steps from where he lived as an undergraduate in Vancouver, British Columbia.

AUTHOR

Stephen Collis

Stephen Collis is an award winning poet, activist, and professor of contemporary literature at Simon Fraser University. His poetry books include Anarchive (2005), The Commons (2008), On the Material (2010, awarded the BC Book Prize for Poetry), and To the Barricades (2013). He has also written two books of criticism, including Phyllis Webb and the Common Good (2007). His collection of essays on the Occupy movement, Dispatches from the Occupation (2012), comes out of his activist experiences and is a philosophical meditation on activist tactics, social movements, and change. A Jack and Doris Shadbolt Fellow at Simon Fraser University in 2011/12, Collis has read and lectured across Canada, the United States, and Europe. The Red Album is his first novel.

Reviews

“A beautiful edition and a gift to Bowering’s readers.”
—Nicholas Bradley, The Ormsby Review


“What I learned from reading George Bowering! Few of my books would exist without his joyful mixcentrations, Anne Hébert with Mallarmé, Avison spills tea on Saint-John Perse. In generously sounding poetry’s idioms, fearless foot in mouth if needed, George Bowering’s serial work quixotes us without quitting. It hurrahs us all.”
—Erín Moure~||~ “‘A serial poem,’ Robin Blaser writes, ‘refuses to adopt an imposed story line.’ So the poems in Taking Measures begin over and over, tracking Bowering’s narrative momentum, poetic sensibility, and wit. When the poem moves in a new direction, the way it goes is not premeditated; rather, it arises out of the poet’s alertness to his Muse in language.”
—George Stanley~||~ “Taking Measures is a box of treasures. These poems are serial, yes, but they are also dendritic, in the way they have made way for other poems by other poets, and in other ways. When you’re reading George Bowering and you stop, reverse, and re-read, then lift your eyes up off the page to go where your thoughts are going past that, you’re in the procedure; you’re wonderfully forever in it. Also: pleasures.”
—Wayde Compton~||~ “In delving into this recently published collection, we have proof of what we already suspected of George Bowering’s work … This book is a must-read.”
—Alessandra Capperdoni, Canadian Literature / Littérature canadienne~||~ “A beautiful edition and a gift to Bowering’s readers.”
—Nicholas Bradley, The Ormsby Review~||~


Awards

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Excerpts & Samples ×

The first-ever collection of the major serial poems by Canada’s inaugural Parliamentory Poet Laureate, George Bowering, Taking Measures includes work from each of the last six decades, beginning with Bowering’s engagement with process-based long poems in the 1960s and 1970s and moving through his continued exploration of the form in recent decades. Containing well-known Bowering texts, including Allophanes, Autobiology, Delayed Mercy, Genève, and Kerrisdale Elegies, as well as Baseball, At War with the U.S., Irritable Reaching, Smoking Mirror, Do Sink, His Life, and Los Pájanos de Tenacatita, Taking Measures offers a new and revealing look at this acclaimed and prolific author’s poetic development and contribution to Canadian writing.

The serial poem is a hybrid genre, stitching short lyrics together into sequential, long (typically book-length) poems; Bowering’s innovative use of the form, always rooted in an engagement with place, with language, and with the intertwining of the two, shows him at his experimental and irreverent best, his trademark playful seriousness extended and expanded, producing poetry that remains compelling, complex, and exciting decades after its composition. Edited by the award-winning poet Stephen Collis, Taking Measures offers a career-spanning and revelatory sample of one of Canada’s best-known and most versatile writers.

Reader Reviews

Details

Dimensions:

656 Pages
9in * 229mm * 6.3125in * 160mm * 1.75in44mm
1301gr
46oz

Published:

October 15, 2019

City of Publication:

Vancouver

Country of Publication:

CA

Publisher:

Talonbooks

ISBN:

9781772012378

Book Subjects:

POETRY / Canadian

Featured In:

All Books

Language:

eng

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