beholdenFront Cover

ISBN: 9781772012118 | paperback / softback

$24.95 | 160 pages | Pub. Date: 2018
10.125 W × 8.25 H × .75 D inches
Poetry | Frontlist | Bisac: POE011000
ISBN 13: 9781772012118 | Rights: WORLD

beholden
a poem as long as the river
By Fred Wah & Rita Wong

Comprised of two lines of poetic text flowing along a 114-foot-long map of the Columbia River, this powerful image-poem by acclaimed poets Fred Wah and Rita Wong presents language yearning to understand the consequences of our hydroelectric manipulation of one of North America’s largest river systems.

beholden: a poem as long as the river stems from the interdisciplinary artistic research project “River Relations: A Beholder’s Share of the Columbia River,” undertaken as a response to the damming and development of the Columbia River in British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon, as well as to the upcoming renegotiation of the Columbia River Treaty. Authors Fred Wah and Rita Wong spent time exploring various stretches of the river, all the way to its mouth near Astoria, Oregon. They then spent several months creating long poems along the Columbia, each searching for a language that evoked the complexities of our colonial appropriation of it. beholden was then assembled as a page-turning book that reproduces the two long poems as they respond to the meanderings of the river flowing two thousand kilometres through Canada, the United States, and the territories and reserves of Indigenous Peoples. Visual artist Nick Conbere then transferred this winding footprint into a monumental, 114-foot horizontal banner.

beholden: a poem as long as the river “reads” the geographic, historical, political, and social dimensions of the Columbia River, literally and figuratively, proposing two contrasting kinds of attention. As both a stand-alone poem and an accompanying piece to the visual installation exhibited at various galleries, beholden represents a vital contribution to a larger dialogue around the river through visual art, writing, and public engagement.

By Fred Wah

Fred Wah was one of the founding editors of the poetry newsletter TISH. Of his seventeen books of poetry, is a door received the BC Book Prize, Waiting For Saskatchewan received the Governor-General’s Award and So Far was awarded the Stephanson Award for Poetry. Diamond Grill, a biofiction about hybridity and growing up in a small-town Chinese-Canadian café won the Howard O’Hagan Award for Short Fiction, and his collection of critical writing, Faking It: Poetics and Hybridity, received the Gabrielle Roy Prize.

Read more about Fred Wah


By Rita Wong

Rita Wong lives and works on unceded Coast Salish territories, also known as Vancouver. Dedicated to questions of water justice, decolonization, and ecology, she is the author of monkeypuzzle (Press Gang, 1998), forage (Nightwood Editions, 2007), sybil unrest (Line Books, 2008, with Larissa Lai), undercurrent (Nightwood Editions, 2015), and perpetual (Nightwood Editions, 2015, with Cindy Mochizuki), as well as the co-editor of downstream: reimagining water (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2016, with Dorothy Christian).

Read more about Rita Wong


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news | 2018-11-15
Fall Launch a Resounding Success!

…Rita Wong and Fred Wah performed pieces from  beholden: a poem as long as the river , sharing snippets …


news | 2018-11-13
Talonbooks Fall Poetry Launch is Tonight!

…feature readings by Fred Wah and Rita Wong (from beholden ), Wanda John-Kehewin (from Seven Sacred Truths …


news | 2018-11-07
beholden arrives on Talon's shores

beholden: a poem as long as the river , by Fred Wah & … of one of North America’s largest river systems. beholden “reads” the geographic, historical, political, … installation exhibited at various galleries, beholden represents a vital contribution to a larger … and public engagement. Pick up your copy of beholden today! …


news | 2018-09-18
Talonbooks Fall Poetry Launch in Vancouver

…feature readings by Fred Wah and Rita Wong (from beholden ), Wanda John-Kehewin (from Seven Sacred Truths …


news | 2018-06-21
Happy National Indigenous Peoples Day!

…, out soon, include Indigenous authors, and beholden and Treaty 6 Deixis , both forthcoming this fall, …