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Wednesday January 11, 2017 in Books
Same Diff by Donato Mancini meets at the intersection of contemporary poetry, art, and current politics. Influenced by documentary cinema such as the films of Frederick Wiseman, Dada poets, montage techniques, and a range of modern poets, Same Diff explores the way social and economic histories become imprinted within language itself.
The political and poetic melancholy of our moment is revealed in a long poem on climate change, particularly the disappearance of snow, while the real-life effects of fiscal austerity and poverty are voiced in fragments conveying social neuroses that stem from amplified, unfair competition for basic necessities.
Each poem introduces a dominant motif that develops through repetition and incremental variations, sourcing language from newspapers, online sources, and overheard conversations to create an emotive effect, as felt in music.
ISBN 13: 9781772011364 | ISBN 10: N/A
6 W x 7.5 H inches | 112 pages
$16.95 CAN / $16.95 US
Poetry | Backlist
QUOTES OF NOTE
"[h]e is a custodian of language who returns it to us cleaned.”— 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize Jury
"While experimental poetry is often derided for seeming obscure and emotionless, Mancini proves that this straw-man caricature of experimental work needs to be overthrown. Nothing could be clearer, more easy to understand or more affecting than these simple, procedural poems. An outstanding collection."—Jonathan Ball, Winnipeg Free Press
“Structurally rigorous … Same Diff takes poetry to the art gallery and then there’s an explosion. … Mancini’s lists, with their insistent repetition and procedural tenacity are monumental, glacially shifting edifices that deface empire’s pristine walls with their own babble. Mancini [re]says the same things over and over, collects linguistic violence and travesties under the heading ‘same diff,’ contending that there is no essential difference between them; that taken together they are the testimony to patterns of physical and ideological violence. Same diff? Mancini doesn’t think so. Neutrality is not an option.”
— Contemporary Verse 2 (CV2)
“Lines are only the beginning of those objects drawn together in this book of splices and merges, convergences and recourses, findings and collectings, smatterings and casual smotherings. … A book of 35 works that stands on top of itself, looking down upon itself, belly bulging, self-awareness, reconstructivism, both respectful of these realities and respectful of the reader. In fact, have I read such a polite and inviting work in all the other realms and moments of my life? … Same Diff is all about probability. It is the regurgitation in postmodern complacency. It is mirroring, reflective, and dangerous. The poems here are, as mentioned, subtle. And yet they are jumbled. And yet they maintain agency. They demonstrate the craft of work that can reach heights without reliance upon spotlight, or even stage. As works to be performed, I found myself recording myself reading these poems by myself, alone in a room that can be called a home, watching the network expand, watching the portal emerge. … Getting to the end of Same Diff is not difficult, and making sense of it is not either. … ”
“I didn’t know why it was called Same Diff instead of More Or Less I thought to myself while drinking a pint during Wednesday happy hour at the Three Brits (I’ve no shame) when like a lightning bolt from heaven I got it! and now I cannot remember. Probably because of the pints.”
—Todd Nickel, readrunwrite.com
2018 Griffin Poetry Prize (Finalist)
About the ContributorsDonato Mancini
Donato Mancini makes visual and procedural poetry, bookworks, and visual art. He holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of British Columbia.
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.