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Sunday March 28, 2010 in Books
In all map making, one begins with the representation of “ground” and “water,” and what grows or is constructed on these representations is rendered by a series of conventional symbols-the ‘elements of topography.’ This book of poems is an investigation of the elements of the spiritual topography of the twentieth century, and a close examination of the conventional symbology passed on to the poet/map-maker by his ancestors-his father and mother, his grandparents, his aunts and uncles. It is a paralyzing inheritance which is rendered here-an entire century, not begun with ‘the war to end all wars,’ but a century through which that great calamity of mechanized and mass-produced misunderstandings was perpetually reproduced.
These ancestors have abetted suffering they could never have imagined. Accessories to crimes against whole populations that made possible their pleasures and their grace, they’re humiliated and ashamed, mortified by themselves, by their indignity and complicity. Incapable of reversing the inhumanity of what they have created, they have left the traces of their deeds on the landscape, fragments of correspondence for their sons and daughters to decipher.
Within this wilderness of the twentieth century, the green flame of life continually presents itself in these poems as an emergency-an emergence, a coming-out, a flower, a bloom of identity, shape and form, requiring immediate attention and action, asserting itself as mimesis, and constituting a disruption of the conventional representations of the symbolic.
ISBN 13: 9780889224650 | ISBN 10: 088922465X
6 W x 9 H x 1 D inches | 208 pages
$19.95 CAN / $15.95 US
Backlist | Poetry | Bisac: POE011000
QUOTES OF NOTE
"Browne fosters in Ground Water not only polyvocality but a ranging polyformality of spacious collage, tight lists, knotted rambunctious densities of word and sentence, sonic wordplay, narrative and lyric." — Publishers Weekly
"You are different after you have read this book." — The Georgia Straight
Finalist for the 2002 Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry
Finalist for the 2003 BC Book Prize: Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize
About the ContributorsColin Browne
Colin Browne is the author of Abraham (Brick Books, 1987); the critically acclaimed collection of poetry Ground Water (Talonbooks, 2002), which was nominated for a Governor General’s Literary Award and a Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize; and The Shovel (Talonbooks, 2007), shortlisted for the 2008 ReLit Award. Browne’s films include Linton Garner: I Never Said Goodbye (2003), Father and Son (1992) and White Lake (1989), which was nominated for a Genie for Best Feature Length Documentary.
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF); and the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia Arts Council for our publishing activities.