After JackFront Cover

ISBN: 9780889226302 | paperback / softback

$19.95 | 184 pages | Pub. Date: 2010
6.00 W × 9.00 H × 0.5 D inches
Poetry | Backlist | Bisac: POE011000
ISBN 13: 9780889226302 | Rights: WORLD

Jack Spicer, the barroom soothsayer of the “Berkeley Renaissance,” forged a new kind of poetry with Robert Duncan and Robin Blaser in the decade 1945–1955, grounded in their “queer genealogy” of Arthur Rimbaud, Federico García Lorca and other gay writers. Beginning his famous serial poem, After Lorca, in 1956, Spicer described it to Robin Blaser a year later:

"I enclose my eight latest 'translations.' Transformations might be a better word. Several are originals and most of the rest change the poem vitally. I can’t seem to make anybody understand this or what I’m doing. They look blank or ask what the spanish is for a word that isn’t in the spanish or praise (like Duncan did) an original poem as typically Lorca. What I am trying to do is establish a tradition. When I’m through … I’d like someone as good as I am to translate these translations into French (or Pushtu) adding more. Do you understand? No. Nobody does."

Clearly, Spicer had not anticipated the birth of Garry Thomas Morse.

Not merely an homage to Jack Spicer, but also a tribute to his Orphic conception of the serial poem, After Jack is a palimpsestuous attempt to achieve the dark art of nekuia, to encourage the means of poetic transmission and to divine the polyphony of both Federico García Lorca and Jack Spicer as their voices interweave, transform and become inexorably entangled with a fresh and undeniably peculiar, disturbingly profane authorial voice.

Only via the enchanted act of re:writing can Billy the Kid make explicit the homosexual subtext of Gore Vidal’s 1955 TV play The Left-Handed Gun, or Walt Whitman turn into an apocalyptic figure, or the knights of the Round Table turn into the enlightened circle of the poet’s friends. But then, as Jack said, “we were never friends.”

By Garry Thomas Morse

Garry Thomas Morse’s poetry books include Transversals for Orpheus, Streams, After Jack, Discovery Passages (finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Poetry and the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize), Prairie Harbour, and Safety Sand. Morse’s books of fiction include his collection Death in Vancouver, and the three books in The Chaos! Quincunx series, Minor Episodes / Major Ruckus (2013 ReLit Award finalist), Rogue Cells / Carbon Harbour (2014 ReLit Award finalist), and Minor Expectations, all published by Talonbooks.

Read more about Garry Thomas Morse


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news | 2011-04-13
Garry Thomas Morse reads from After Jack at SFU

…graduate Garry Thomas Morse reads from his book After Jack at the SFU Library Celebration of SFU Authors …


news | 2010-05-14
Talon Spring Launch at the Edmonton Poetry Festival

…Google. Garry Thomas Morse read grail lore from After Jack and brought the evening to a finale with the …


news | 2010-05-14
Talonbooks Spring Poetry Launch in Calgary

…and “epistolary pathetiques” from After Jack, his homage to Jack Spicer. (photographs courtesy …


news | 2010-05-08
Talon Spring Poetry Night in Vancouver

…Thomas Morse. Garry read from his latest book After Jack, channelling Jack Spicer, and filling the hall …


events | 2010-04-29
Talon’s 2010 Cross-Canada Poetry Tour: Vancouver

…are two poetry books of a more prosaic nature. In After Jack , Vancouver cause célèbre Garry Thomas Morse …


events | 2010-04-27
Talon's 2010 Cross-Canada Poetry Tour: Calgary

…are two poetry books of a more prosaic nature. In After Jack , Vancouver cause célèbre Garry Thomas Morse …


events | 2010-04-22
Talon’s 2010 Cross-Canada Poetry Tour: Edmonton Poetry Festival

…are two poetry books of a more prosaic nature. In After Jack , Vancouver cause célèbre Garry Thomas Morse …