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Friday May 17, 2013 in Books
Moving with nomadic grace across the terrain of his previous book, Decompositions, the poetic language of Ken Belford in Internodes shares similar roots, traversing decades at the speed of a search query – pressing onward through Hazelton, the Bulkley Valley, and the unroaded head-waters of the Nass River in the Damdochax Valley – and meanwhile coming to terms with a poetry that “is lived” on the rugged streets of Prince George.
In this twenty-first-century evolution, and one may say “mutation,” of Marshall McLuhan’s oft-repeated adage that “the medium is the message,” Belford’s text takes into account the nature of viral marketing and the impact of similar forms of social “trending” on our lives and our language, challenging linearity and order in favour of a work that may be read forward or backward or experienced with an abrupt sense of intimacy, in media res.
Whether reflecting upon the internodal segment that is a vital part of a nerve cell; upon the relationship between the nodes and internodes of a plant stem; or upon the internode merely as an interstice of jargon amid connections we forge through high-speed telecommunication and wireless networks, the text invites the reader to make an informed decision before inviting others to “Like,” to “Favourite,” or to otherwise invest their social currency in Internodes.
In addition to perceiving the poem as the “means of transmission” over time, Belford’s poetic lines welcome readership as a form of collaborative action and agency in an age of crowdsourcing and flash mobs – and also as a form of ongoing social process that is sensitive to the life and demise of many of the decision trees that ultimately nourish our wavering notions of the future.
Read poems from this collection on Meta-Talon.
ISBN 13: 9780889227927 | ISBN 10: 0889227926
5 W x 8 H inches | 96 pp pages
$16.95 CAN / $16.95 US
Backlist | Poetry | Bisac: POE011000
QUOTES OF NOTE
“In Internodes are poems that are spry organisms assembled from the language of body, land and politics. … His poems thrum in response to texts, media and the land itself. … Belford’s book resists conventional thinking as it applies to gender, land use and animal abuse, but he writes in a way that also resists conventional forms of writing that have helped create those ills. It is the pretty image and the good story that have produced the unsustainable context we are in and Belford writes his way out of that tradition and into a new, fluid and uncertain poetic path.”
– Northword Magazine
“In poem after poem in Internodes, Ken Belford deactivates the egoistic, imperious lie of the ‘I’ and yet somehow reanimates that pronoun with wise, land- & animal-aware, breath-giving energy. Internodes is a rare and fierce book of poetics: one of dispersals and laments and ambiguities – and also one of gatherings, celebrations and visions.”
– Jake Kennedy
“In Ken Belford’s poems, ‘The sentence is not limited to what happens.’ Internodes is a meditation linking language to the world.”
– Tsering Wangmo
About the ContributorsKen Belford
Ken Belford was born to a farming family in Alberta and grew up in Vancouver. For more than thirty years, he, along with his wife and daughter, operated a non-consumptive enterprise in the unroaded mountains at the vicinity of the headwaters of the Nass and Skeena Rivers.
The “self-educated lan(d)guage” poet has said that living for decades in the “back country” has afforded him a unique relationship to language that rejects the colonial impulse to write about nature, but attempts to write from nature and our relationship to the land.
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.