Asian SkiesFront Cover

ISBN: 9780889226333 | paperback / softback

$17.95 | 128 pages | Pub. Date: 2010 | Edition # 1
6.00 W × 9.00 H × .35 D inches
Poetry | Backlist | Bisac: POE011000
ISBN 13: 9780889226333 | Rights: WORLD

Asian Skies is the final book of Ken Norris’s travel trilogy. With Dante as his guide, he has previously left behind the predominantly European terrain of the first book, Limbo Road, only to find himself in the terra incognita of the new world of the second, Dominican Moon.

Now guideless, Norris continues his search for the metaphorical shortcut, the “inside passage” of the age of discovery; the easy transcendence of “a passage to India” from the post-industrial world, and sets out for that most foreign of shores to the Western mind: Asia—a world of glittering wealth, precious spice, exotic religiosity, tyrannical rule, mysterious ritual and deadly storm.

Composed like a dark novel-in-verse, this is the unsettling story of the deficiencies of love that have produced our commodified and globalized world—a perhaps not-so-divine comedy of those who don’t love enough—steeped in a clash of cultures wherein the third world seems willingly, even perversely, to offer itself up as a simulacrum of the first, while its otherness remains hidden, inaccessible.

As he transits the beaches of Phuket to the island of Bali, the flood plains of Bangladesh to the sublime heights of the Himalaya, Norris ultimately understands it is the absence of a beloved that turns the world upside down: where what was loved is hated, what was benign is threatening, what was dangerous is embraced, what was worshipped is murdered, what was past is future.

Part travel journal, part meditation on the rudderless denizens of the global village of which he is merely one, Asian Skies chronicles a search for the beloved, one that will lead to “the City of God.” That she appears only in glimpses is a credit to Ken Norris’s adept reading of the 21st century and his disciplined mapping of its increasingly unknown territories.

By Ken Norris

Ken Norris was born in New York City in 1951. He emigrated to Canada in the early seventies, where he quickly became one of the infamous Vehicule Poets, essential in helping to develop and maintain a particular style of Anglo-poetry in Montreal.
He is the author of two dozen books and chapbooks of poetry, and is the editor of eight anthologies of poetry and poetics. His work has been widely anthologized in Canada and throughout the English-speaking world, as well as published in translation in France, Belgium, Israel and China.

Norris teaches Canadian literature and creative writing at the University of Maine. He divides his time between Canada, the United States and Asia.

Read more about Ken Norris


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

…from the third book in his Dantean trilogy, Asian Skies. Norris was keen to point out that the eight …


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

…appreciated the delicacy and beauty of his work Asian Skies as well as his understated delivery. Then George …