The Absence of Zero

By (author): R. Kolewe

The Absence of Zero is a triumphantly-executed celebration of the long poem tradition. Consisting of 256 16-line quartets, and 34 free-form interruptions, this slow-moving haunting work is a beautiful example of thinking in language, a meditation that explores time and memory in both content and form. The 20th century is already more than 20 years past: The Absence of Zero is Kolewe’s elegy to that era, and the disparate fragments of its ideas that continue to affect and disrupt our present.


R. Kolewe

R. KOLEWE was born in Montreal and lives in Toronto. Educated in physics and engineering at the University of Toronto, he pursued a successful career in the software industry for many years. He now lives in Toronto, and writes full time. His work has appeared online at ditch, e-ratio, The Puritan, and (parenthetical), as well as in the Literary Review of Canada and PRISM International. He is the author of two previous poetry collections, including Afterletters (Book*hug Press, 2014) and Inspecting Nostalgia (2017).


“The echo of phrases repeating, shifted into different contexts, allow for a shifting, and even fluid, perception…This really is a remarkable book.” —periodicities

“The interiors of R. Kolewe’s epic poem The Absence of Zero, are anything but … observance upon observance then another, continuous action … past and continuing, teeter, falter, tick by, lob between thoughts, threads, memories, what is, what was, what might befall, or. “Read again. Nothing beautiful.” and absolutely absorbing, returning again and again to this place, this street, this window, this room. Know that once you enter, there is no going back. The presence of absence, all too familiar, begins to read, occupy you. It’s a glorious achievement. Prepare to be mesmerized.” —Kirby, author of Poetry is Queer

“R. Kolewe’s The Absence of Zero is a daring, daily progression that depends upon return as palimpsest. Call it what it is. Gorgeous. Steadfastly urgent. Patient as dawn.” —Margaret Christakos, author of charger and Dear Birch


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458 Pages
7.95in * 5.50in * 1.20in


November 09, 2021


Book*hug Press



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