" intricate and masterful" "rich and plucky" "wonder-inducing"
"articulate and beautiful" "lucid and intelligent" "an uncommon eye"
Waiting for the Albatross, my fifth poetry collection, is coming out this fall with Oolichan Books. It features found poems I composed using fragments from a diary my father wrote in 1936 when, at age 21, he embarked on his first job as a deck hand on a freighter. It also includes a few prose vignettes from the diary and photos taken during the trip.
Great News for Poetry Instructors: Planning to teach a poetry course in the near future? In Fine Form - The Canadian Book of Form Poetry (ed., Kate Braid and Sandy Shreve) is now available from Caitlin Press.
"Qu'Appelle", one of the triolets from my recent chapbook Level Crossing (Alfred Gustav Press) will be in the anthology The Poet's Quest for God (ed. Todd Swift and Oliver Brennan, Eyewear Publishing), coming out this spring.
"Needle at Sea Bottom" (from "Tai Chi Variations" in Suddenly, So Much) was reprinted recently in the US magazine Lilipo and the Canadian journal Germination (ed., Allan Cooper - special Robert Bly issue).
Four of my poems ("Autumn Pantoum", "Crows", "Leaving", "Change") are in Force Field, the exciting new anthology of 77 BC women poets (ed. Susan Musgrave), recently published by Mona Fertig's Mother Tongue Publishing.
"Crows" from Suddenly, So Much, is in The Pacific Poetry Project anthology Alive At The Centre, published by Ooligan Press. The poem and an article about it that I wrote for the Ooligan blog, are reprinted in the winter 2013-2014 edition of BC BookWorld.
"Wild & Unwieldy" from Cedar Cottage Suite is in A Crystal Through Which Love Passes - Glosas for P.K. Page (ed. Jesse Ferguson, just out from BuscheckBooks).
Poetry fascinates me. The math of it - that meticulous balancing of ideas, through image, metaphor and other devices; and the music of it - meticulous, again, that selection of words and their order until they sing. It's the kind of fascination that makes it not just possible, but essential and delightful (even when agonising) to spend hours, days, weeks and more honing a poem until it's as close to right as I can get it. Then, after all the scribbling and tossing away and starting all over again; after all the tinkering and tweaking - the relief (if I'm lucky) of still being moved by the finished work. (As Horace said, "If you want to move me to tears, you must first feel grief yourself.")
As a reader, these same things fascinate me - but in reverse order. First, the elation when my initial experience of a poem is its unique melding of sound and sense so that, one way or another, it opens my heart, my mind, my eyes. Then, the fun of sussing out the technical devices the poet used so well they slipped modestly into the background, allowing the poem as a whole to work its magic.
(Heather Rhodes photo)
My latest full-length books are: