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After Completion: The Later Letters of Charles Olson and Frances Boldereﬀ follows on from an earlier edition, Charles Olson and Frances Boldereﬀ: A Modern Correspondence, that spans three years and more than three hundred letters. Published in 1999 by Wesleyan University Press, that edition concludes with a crisis that amounted to a “completion” of one of the major phases of their relationship. Boldereﬀ’s interventions, which provoked Olson to articulate a projectivist poetics, claims for Frances Boldereﬀ an incalculable eﬀect on twentieth-century poetry.
In this sequel to the hilarious and hard-hitting The Adventures of Ali & Ali and the aXes of Evil, the agitprop collaborative team of Camyar Chai, Guillermo Verdecchia, and Marcus Youssef turns its idiosyncratic brand of political satire to new global realities.
Everything changes on what begins as a typical day in the life of the aptly named Mr. Mann, a forty-eight-year-old, buttoned-down, middle management type in a pinstriped grey suit, who feels himself losing touch with his job, his wife, his children, and the rest of his urban life. He wins tickets to a production of Chekhov’s Three Sisters and realizes that the mid-life cocoon he has spun around himself is beginning to unwind.
By Ken Belford
Moving with nomadic grace across the terrain of his previous book, Decompositions, the poetic language of Ken Belford in Internodes shares similar roots, traversing decades at the speed of a search query – pressing onward through Hazelton, the Bulkley Valley, and the unroaded head-waters of the Nass River in the Damdochax Valley – and meanwhile coming to terms with a poetry that “is lived” on the rugged streets of Prince George.
In Patrice Martin’s ticklish tip of the hat to the writing of Franz Kafka, we follow the misadventures of a bureaucrat – aptly named “P.” (pun intended) – as he embarks on the illustrious task of collecting the titular headgear. “P.” expects that the accomplishment of this seemingly simple task will grant him both a professional and a personal promotion. But Martin’s eager protagonist has overlooked the systematic diﬃculty in modern bureaucracies – as well as in some of twentieth-century’s best
ﬁction – of getting things done.
Modern Canadian Plays is the core text for university-level Canadian drama courses around the world. Now in its fifth edition, with the previous edition published in 2002, the two-volume Modern Canadian Plays drama series anthologizes major Canadian plays written and performed since 1967. The second volume presents a range of exciting Canadian plays from the late 1980s through the first decade of the twenty-first century.
By Jack Winter
My TWP Plays presents five important plays written by Jack Winter while he was resident playwright at Toronto Workshop Productions, one of the first great troupes of the experimental and alternative theatre movement. The carnivalesque style of the selected works in this anthology reflects the turbulence, contradictions, and subversion of the social revolution during which they were written and first produced, as well as the cultural politics at a time when Canadian artists were investigating new, noncolonial, and distinctly Canadian forms of expression that would define the nation and challenge received artistic styles and practices.
In Rogue Cells, Oober Mann emerges from his cryobed on high alert in New Haudenosaunee, a nation at war with the mysterious territory Nutella during a critical election year. And it is the Age of Aquarium in the speculative “green” dystopia of Carbon Harbour, in which omni-magnate Cornelius Quartz is overseeing the merger between Bildung Endustries and Foreign Objects. Rogue Cells / Carbon Harbour resumes The Chaos! Quincunx novel series.
Working for decades in English and French in poetry, novels, and translations that investigate the relationship between language and female subjectivity, Lola Lemire Tostevin has hewn her own unique and intensely aesthetic path across the national literary landscape, earning her the reputation as one of Canada’s leading feminist writers.
Tostevin’s latest offering of poetry emerges from her deep-seated interest in the creativity of women who face advanced age and its ailments. Through study of exhibitions in galleries and museums, films and dance performances, and voluminous “bodies” of text, it became clear to Tostevin that aging not only serves women’s creativity but also reinforces it, revealing many forms of strength in vulnerability.
Singed Wings invites the reader to peer into the interior world of Camille Claudel, whose intimate understanding of her subjects, from young girl to old woman, captured quite a different power than that of her lover, sculptor Auguste Rodin. Although Claudel was not able to fully realize her creative process into old age, many others did, including Louise Bourgeois, Frida Kahlo, Betty Goodwin, Pina Bausch, and Agnès Varda, and it is in direct response to the vital creativity of these women that the poet finds the inspiration and determination to move her own art forward.
Spurred on by these groundbreaking precedents that displace the narcissistic, “shopworn” notion of the ideal woman described only in terms of desired female form, Tostevin allocates space where a writer facing her own aging process can use the experience to give it new shapes in language, positing that reimagining the various creative forms of women into language is a postmodern undertaking in an artistic milieu where postmodernism may turn out to have as many heads as the mythical Hydra.
Canada’s most famous Aboriginal playwright, Tomson Highway, sets his latest theatrical achievement, The (Post) Mistress, in a not-so-distant past, when sending letters through the mail was still vital to communicating with friends and loved ones, and the small-town post office was often the only connection to faraway places longed-for or imagined.
By Jordan Abel
The Place of Scraps revolves around Marius Barbeau, an early-twentieth-century ethnographer, who studied many of the First Nations cultures in the Pacific Northwest, including Jordan Abel’s ancestral Nisga’a Nation. Barbeau, in keeping with the popular thinking of the time, believed First Nations cultures were about to disappear completely, and that it was up to him to preserve what was left of these dying cultures while he could. Unfortunately, his methods of preserving First Nations cultures included purchasing totem poles and potlatch items from struggling communities in order to sell them to museums. While Barbeau strove to protect First Nations cultures from vanishing, he ended up playing an active role in dismantling the very same cultures he tried to save.
By Jeff Derksen
Based on the experience of city life, The Vestiges moves across the uneven geography of the present, linking historical moments when quarters of cities were squatted, when social change boiled and the future was up for grabs. In the context of our precarious present, the poem “The Vestiges,” around which the book is built, “sets out to explore / what happens / to humans when they are reduced / to things by other humans.”
For more than three decades, Robert Lepage’s dynamic multimedia performance works have been produced on stages worldwide. Celebrated for his bold, visionary aesthetic, Lepage has received several high-profile commissions in recent years, including two Peter Gabriel world tours, Cirque du Soleil’s KÁ in Las Vegas, a dramatic staging of Wagner’s Ring Cycle at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and Lorin Maazel’s 1984 at London’s Royal Opera House.
Despite Lepage’s prolificacy, and his status as one of the pioneers of new media performance, little critical writing about his work has been published, particularly in English. Ludovic Fouquet’s The Visual Laboratory of Robert Lepage, translated for the first time into English, thus presents much-needed in-depth analysis of Lepage’s strategies and practices.
By Bev Sellars
The ﬁrst full-length memoir to be published out of St. Joseph’s Mission at Williams Lake, BC, Sellars tells of three generations of women who attended the school, interweaving the personal histories of her grandmother and her mother with her own. She tells of hunger, forced labour, and physical beatings, often with a leather strap, and also of the demand for conformity in a culturally alien institution where children were conﬁned and denigrated for failure to be White and Roman Catholic.
By Daniel Canty
It’s October 1944. During a brief respite from the aerial bombardment of London, Sebastian Wigrum absconds from his small flat and disappears into the fog for a walk in the Unreal City. This is our first and only encounter with the enigmatic man we come to discover decades later through more than one hundred everyday objects he has left behind. Wigrum’s bequest is a meticulously catalogued collection of the profoundly ordinary: a camera, some loose teeth, candies and keys, soap, bits of string, hazelnuts, and a handkerchief. Moving through the inventory artifact to artifact, story to story, we become immersed in a dreamlike narrative bricolage determined as much by the objects’ museological presentation as by the tender and idiosyncratic mania of Wigrum’s impulse to collect them.
Ed Huyck reviewed the play for CityPages.com. A few excerpts follow.Monday May 6, 2013 in Meta-Talon
Ash Tanasiychuk takes pictures. Of Dina Del Bucchia. Nuff said. Oh, and Otters!Monday April 29, 2013 in Meta-Talon
Joanne Arnott interviews Wanda John-Kehewin about her new book In the Dog House:
I can’t really say there were many poets of the past that influenced my writing. I think when I really started to be inspired was when I heard that there were other Native writers, and that wasn’t until I moved to the West Coast in 1991. For some reason I didn’t think it was actually something an “Indian” could do. There weren’t any books in the library that were by First Nations people when I was growing up.Thursday April 25, 2013 in Meta-Talon
Garry Thomas Morse on poetry prizes and/or music in poetry. Whatever!
Not to pull an academy-bashing Joaquin Phoenix, but strictly off the record, I’ve never understood how prizes relate to poetry, exactly, and a number of acclaimed poets have confessed a similar sentiment in my presence, in one way or another. One would hope that a poet only gets into the racket out of an imperative need to do so, if not a compulsive love, implying all the emotions and forms of resentment love can contain. In that case, how can a prize for being the greatest lover compare to said love itself?
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