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Sunday March 28, 2010 in Books
Guided by Arthur Rimbaud’s mottos “Change ton vie,” and “Je est un autre,” Jamie Reid began publishing poetry in TISH magazine at barely twenty years old, in 1961. This selection draws from those brilliantly impressionist early poems, through his contemporary writing expressive of an urban particularity within a sophisticated global discourse. Schooled in the modernist poets, whose dream it was that the world could be positively changed by deliberate human action, Reid has never abandoned the objective of abetting change in the world, in society, and in the individual human personality.
“The Space Between,” we discover through his concise and revealing introduction to this collection, refers to the period between 1968 and 1987, when Reid became involved in activist politics and “wrote little else besides political cant … because it seemed quite clear to me … that writing poetry was impossible without some knowledge of the political forces which shape the lives and deaths of people and cause so much suffering world wide.”
Since taking up the craft again in 1987, Reid has shown in his insightful “explosions of words” the clear influences of the signifier and the signified, and neo-structuralist theories of representation. The field of his contemporary work is suspended between the poles of the political and the lyrical, between the confrontation of the world of human affairs and the undeniable beauty of the earth and nature—the simple delight taken in life itself—with a clear understanding that the use of the word “natural” is almost always ideologically determined.
ISBN 13: 9780889225121 | ISBN 10: 889225125
6 W x 9 H inches | 192 pages
$18.95 CAN / $14.95 US
Backlist | Poetry | Bisac: POE011000
QUOTES OF NOTE
Jamie Reid’s later political writing packs a punch, often a dada-esque one…No one topic falls beyond Reid’s scope…
— BC Bookworld
[Reid] engages readers in a conversation, asking them always to try to make their neighbourhood, their city, their world a better place…
— Georgia Straight
About the ContributorsJamie Reid
In 1961, at the University of British Columbia, Jamie Reid met Warren Tallman and together with George Bowering, Fred Wah, he and several other writers founded TISH. His first book of poems, The Man Whose Path Was on Fire (1969) took the Canadian literary scene by storm. Reid’s poetic work is fiercely intelligent, fearlessly incisive, and always politically charged. His recent work includes I. Another. The Space Between (Talonbooks).
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.