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Human Tissue
Print Edition
Canadian Customers

$18.95 CDN

US & International Customers

$18.95 US

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Monday February 1, 2016 in Books

Human Tissue
a primer of Not Knowing

By Weyman Chan

These poems try to get along with each other – but can’t. The series of poems titled “Parables for Frankenstein”, traces the socialization and making of a prototype misfit. “Panic Room”, is a series of poems about a loner whose isolation at a house party starts taking a sinister turn. “Unboxing the Clone” deals precisely with the simultaneous interpenetration of terms that bombard the conscious moment to reshape the life that’s being lived out – a kind of proprioceptive kaleidoscope. Alienation arises from all the failed language-registers of our technocratic society, which continue to defy our powers of decryption. What’s a monster to do?

A recurring motif throughout the book is the overarching empty universal space surrounding life’s not-knowing. If we think too hard on it – why the statistical fluke that puts us here on this ball of dirt – we’ll have a stroke. Instead, read these poems.

Read two poems from Human Tissue on our blog, Meta-Talon.

ISBN 13: 9780889229815 | ISBN 10: 0889229813
6 W x 9 H inches | 144 pages
$18.95 CAN / $18.95 US
Rights: World
Backlist | Poetry | Bisac: POE011000
Paperback Edition


“[Chan] explores a vision of humanity in a technologically charged world … Human Tissue exudes a sense of immediacy and simultaneously displays a modernist influence … Technological terms, academic topics, and scientific language blend with an arsenal of colloquial terms … This clash of tradition and the contemporary, of the informal and the technical, contributes to the sense of anxiety in Chan’s poetry … [The combined effect is] a carefully crafted expression of being flesh in a partly robotic world.”
Canadian Literature

“We get only what is absolutely necessary, what adds to the image being presented. The end result is economic, vivid, and clear. … some of the poems within the collection did stand out as being clearly-presented introspections of Chan’s into his own upbringing and the formation of his cultural, sexual, and individual identity. … Chan throws words at each other and they clash, rebounding and freezing in mid-air, so that when read, Human Tissue seemed to be more of a collage, impulsive and immediate, than it is a meditation, precise and economic.”
The Cascade

About the Contributors

Weyman Chan

Weyman Chan was born in Calgary, Alberta, in 1963, to immigrant parents from China. Chan wrote his first poem when he was thirteen years old. He has published poems and short stories in a wide variety of literary journals and anthologies. He won the 2002 National Magazine Awards silver prize for his poem “At work,” and the 2003 Alberta Book Award for his first book of poetry, Before a Blue Sky Moon. His second book, Noise From the Laundry, was a finalist for the 2008 Governor General’s Award for Poetry and the 2009 Acorn-Plantos Award for People’s Poetry.

[Human Tissue cover]
Human Tissue

Weyman Chan

Chinese Blue cover
Chinese Blue

Weyman Chan

hypoderm: notes to myself

Weyman Chan

Noise from the Laundry

Weyman Chan

Copyright Talonbooks 1963-2018



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.

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