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Posted: Monday July 21, 2014
ryan fitzpatrick

ryan fitzpatrick is a poet and critic living in Vancouver. He is the author of Fake Math (Snare Books, 2007) as well as a dozen chapbooks, including the recent 21st Century Monsters (Red Nettle Press, 2012), which was shortlisted for the bpNichol Chapbook Award. While living in Calgary, he was an editor of filling Station and an organizer of the Flywheel Reading Series. With Jonathan Ball, he is a co-editor of Why Poetry Sucks: An Anthology of Humorous Experimental Canadian Poetry in English (Insomniac Press, 2014). With Janey Dodd, he is in the early stages of organizing a comprehensive digital archive of Calgary small presses operating between 1990 and 2010. He is currently pursuing a PhD at Simon Fraser University, where he works on contemporary poetics and the social production of space.

photo: Sandy Ewart

LATEST ryan fitzpatrick NEWS

September 2016 : This Sunday: WORD Vancouver!

May 2016 : Talonbooks will be at Congress 2016 this weekend

November 2015 : Scree is launched! Watch the video, see the photos

July 2015 : “Collective Grievances” – Reimer and fitzpatrick in Canadian Literature

January 2015 : Our Best of 2014, According to the Year-End Lists

November 2014 : Launched! Our Fall 2014 “Septuplets”

November 2014 : New Arrivals, Right on Time for Tonight’s Launch

November 2014 : T-Minus One Week to Talon’s Fall 2014 Launch!

August 2014 : Fortified Castles Is Here!

July 2014 : Our Fall 2014 Lineup!


Fortified Castles

“…at turns whimsical, earnest, ironic, and confounding – often within the same poem. It’s a pleasure to wind through its twists and blind alleys.”
this magazine

“a strikingly balanced work … fitzpatrick writes from within ego-centric spheres, enraptured with selfies and branded personalities—indeed, our own fortified castles – to create paratactic lyric collages … Though at times the text seems to mock this culture, there is a strong undercurrent of hope. ”
Canadian Literature

“Darkly humorous and mockingly pedantic … Fitzpatrick also considers lyric poems themselves as fortifications, celebrating and safeguarding the sincere human voice. … Near the end, Fitzpatrick asks ‘How might we connect our cuffs?’—recognizing the ‘terrifying agency’ of sincerity – of meaning what we say – once we admit that we share grievances and complicities.”

“…a blend of Calgary’s language-poetics and Vancouver’s social and political engagements … Through[out] Fortified Castles, fitzpatrick utilizes a kind of collage/cut-up method of accumulation to engage elements of the Occupy Movement, confusion, social interactions, financial anxieties, political uncertainties, ambiguous sentences and an endless series of phrases, consequences and histories, managing to capture an enormous amount of activity in such compact spaces. … Given some of the subject matter the book explores, keeping the reader slightly off-balance might be entirely the point. Given some of the subject matter, it would seem strange to attempt to craft poems that didn’t unsettle. Perhaps we should be far more unsettled than we are.”
– rob mclennan’s blog

“In Fortified Castles, our hero shakes down identities like a spike-filled log mashes down the meadow. In the fervour of a squint, fitzpatrick rakes the way for a honky-tonk revolution in a felt square to sip tonics of swell emotions much more dangerous than motorcycles. Fortified Castles simmers a deft cauldron of trend patrol – able to frack Kodak moments into bankrupt selfies and drain histories into broken presents. With sunshine enough to fill lonely bottles, fitzpatrick shoots a friendly neighbourhood spitball that props us up at the door of a room we live, long for, and long to leave, oh so thankful for its lock.”
– Chris Ewart, author of Miss Lamp

“Fortified Castles is a book full of twists: a series of ambiguous manuals, a book-length personality quiz gone terribly awry. At first glance, characters seem self-assured – but don’t be fooled. Like Beckett’s talking heads, fitzpatrick’s playful voices point to a larger confusion. They look at us, baffled. They point and stare. They nod their heads and pat their stomachs. And then they ask, ever so politely: Who the hell are you?”
– Sandy Pool, author of Exploding into Night and Undark

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