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Wednesday January 5, 2011 in Books
In a world where the corporate iron fist clad in the velvet glove of the state has appropriated all that is authentic and authoritative in language, there seems little left for us to say to each other. Yet against the determination of borders, capital, criminalization and violence, stigmatized bodies also remember patterns, history, possibility and solidarity. Triage attempts an ordered, critical response to the surges of overlapping manufactured crises that perpetuate the conditions and symptoms of our public and private disentitlements.
Drawing on the increasingly marginalized and criminalized language of protest and resistance, these poems present a polyvocal narrative of human communities struggling at the brutal margins of the neoliberalized state. Triage acknowledges and legitimizes dialogical practices of organizing for food, shelter, mobility, access and voice grounded in a global network of specific communities and movements. It addresses the resilience of people refusing disposability in these highly contested zones; articulates their commonalities in their struggle to take back the garish interventions of commercial language and enterprise in their lives.
The routes to the urban centre from rural, suburban and reserve communities are shared experiences articulated by many of the poems’ characters—their displacement has concentrated and “naturalized” their entrenchment in the ghetto—turned habit and need into specific areas of surveillance, where low income means risk, focusing primarily on the particular conditions of women caught in the everyday grind at the mercy of the propertied.
Accustomed to framing that simultaneously victimizes as it offers assistance, Triage acknowledges a powerful legacy of women’s creative resistance to everyday physical and systemic violence. It understands the costs and remembers the losses as it sorts through the rubble of language to salvage a redefinition of beauty and reify a meaningful aesthetics. After loss, hurt, survival and recovery, more is warranted, and more is coming.
ISBN 13: 9780889226579 | ISBN 10: 889226571
6 W x 9 H inches | 96 pages
$16.95 CAN / $16.95 US
Backlist | Poetry | Bisac: POE011000, POE000000
QUOTES OF NOTE
"anything can happen in the space that Cecily Nicholson opens in triage: disasters, miracles, resistance and arpillera right before your eyes. urgent, broken, and indomitable, this book invites us to restructure our systems of perception so that we can see and acknowledge what is otherwise overlooked, devalued, deliberately forgotten. in the face of contemporary crisis, this is a poetry that is merciless in its courage and generosity, steadfast in its spaciousness and precision. this is the heart of
vancouver, beating bravely in the tent village, attesting to daily poverty, daily ingenuity, refusing to be distracted by imperial delirium."
“Triage ‘terrible mischief’ or ‘hors de combat’ po-ethics precede a city stroll shift shank into political ‘tarbaby cosmetic’ tango. so there is relentless resistant vision visit of ‘heartless ecology’ that ‘suck city’ is. Cecily Nicholson’s playful precision poetry will get you off that ‘fiscal sofa’ urbanal sprawl right into ‘morning after Vancouver’ impact passionate ‘breastbone attitude.’ right on! ‘arrest this system’!"
About the ContributorsCecily Nicholson
Cecily Nicholson is the administrator of the artist-run centre Gallery Gachet and has worked since 2000 in the Downtown Eastside neighbourhood of Vancouver. She collaborates with the Joint Effort prison abolitionist group and is the author of Triage (Talon, 2011) and From the Poplars (Talon, 2014), winner of the 2015 Dorothy Livesay prize for poetry.
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.