Limbinal Front Cover

Paperback / softback
ISBN: 9780889229242
Pages: 136
Pub. Date: April 14 2015
Dimensions: 8" x 5.5" x 0.375"
Rights: Available: WORLD
Non-Fiction / LAN009000

  • POETRY / Canadian
  • LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General

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By Oana Avasilichioaei

Limbinal, as its hybrid title suggests, speaks in the porous space between a limb’s articulations and a liminal border. Formally diverse, the pieces in Limbinal intersect prose fragments with incantatory dialogues, poetic footnotes with photographic phrases, rebellious translations with liquid transpositions.

Against a backdrop of globalization fantasies heralding the new utopia, the fallout of nationalistic impulses, conflicts repeatedly arising out of rigid entrenchment, and the increasingly hazy distinction between public and private, voices struggle to cross, to intersect, to overlap. It is the permeable spaces arising between these voices that matter. Here, linguistic limbs fold and migrate, a distant border politicks and trips over the horizon, a river overflows, floods, palimpsests another river, Arendt’s responsibility touches Deleuze’s fold, the body, changeable, restless, searches for resonances.

New translations of Paul Celan’s Romanian poems become a generative field of language that sprout other limbs and broach other thresholds. A voice intimately addresses the border while multilingual subjectivities tackle radical responses. So the mouth, possibly hungering, possibly melodic, is always present, ready to disarticulate in order to articulate before the city gates, wobbly with struggle.

Limbinal tenaciously delineates and explores the zone(s) encountered when the poetic imagination meets the materiality of its practice. The writing is boundary walking, blindfolded, and traumatized that ‘this is the moment to speak.’ And the place to speak. The site of Avasilichioaei’s moment buzzes with the anxiety of political, historical, linguistic, and textual boundaries. The contact zone in these exquisite poems is the site of interrogation, a tension between words and mouth, spectacle and spectator, photo and text, invention and translation. Limbinal goes out on a limb and refuses to perform an easy answer.”
– Fred Wah

“… two books in one, with a portfolio of colour photographs in the middle. The Romanian-born Montreal poet has an instinctive interest in boundaries. … It is heavily theorized and works brilliantly with formatting and fonts, but remains curiously detached, even in the love poems. The photographs that both join and divide the book illustrate the concepts more powerfully than the poems of the first part. … It takes courage to juxtapose one’s own writing with such giants [as Paul Celan and Nelly Sachs]. She carries it off honourably.”
Montreal Review of Books

“I want to type in every line, every sentence, but I resist…just buy the book …Limbinal is full of wonder, of questions, of beautiful language and imagery. It’s more than I can possibly know or write about. Which is the best kind of book there is.”
– Amanda Earl,

“Avasilichioaei is an experimentalist … [her] work is sophisticated, challenging, and transgressive, yet well worth the effort.”
– Elena Wolff

By Oana Avasilichioaei

Oana Avasilichioaei interweaves poetry, translation, photography, sound, and performance to explore an expanded idea of language (whether textual, visual, aural, etc.) as reverberatory and evolutionary, polylingual and polyphonic poetics, historical structures, borders and movement. Her six poetry collections include We, Beasts (Wolsak & Wynn, 2012, A. M. Klein Prize for Poetry) and Limbinal (Talonbooks, 2015).

Read more about Oana Avasilichioaei