Taking Measures Front Cover

ISBN: 9781772012378
Pages: 656
Pub. Date: October 15 2019
Dimensions: 9" x 6.3125" x 1.75"
Rights: Available: WORLD
Poetry / POE023000

  • POETRY / Canadian
  • POETRY / General
  • POETRY / Subjects & Themes / General

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Taking Measures
Selected Serial Poems
By 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.

"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