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  • $18.95

    ISBN: 9781772010152 | Paperback

    148 pages | Pub. Date: 20160916
    6 W × 8.5 H × .315 D inches
    Backlist | Poetry | Bisac: POE011000
    Rights: WORLD

    Or find Once in Blockadia in your local bookstore

In this collection of long and serial poems, Stephen Collis returns to the commons, and to his ongoing argument with romantic poet William Wordsworth, to rethink the relationship between human beings and the natural world in the Anthropocene. Collis circumambulates Tar Sands tailings ponds and English lakes—and stands in the path of pipelines, where on Burnaby Mountain in 2014 he was sued for $5.6 million dollars by energy giant Kinder Morgan, whose lawyers glossed Collis’s writing in court by noting that "underneath the poetry is a description of how the barricade was constructed." Called by Eden Robinson "the most dangerous poet in Canada," in Once in Blockadia Collis is in search of how we can continue to resist—as we only begin to understand the extent of our complicity and the depths of the predicament we are in.

The bulk of Once in Blockadia is made up of two long sequences evolving from found texts, and two long poems that engage with Wordsworth. The two found texts relate to two blockades Collis was involved in: one blocking the flood of commodities into the Port of Vancouver, and the other blocking the potential flood of oil out of Vancouver. In both cases the poetry and "notes" that follow offer glimpses into the documentary "fact" of events, the resistance behind the blockade, the reasons for them, and the complex of resistant affects driving the events. The two Wordsworthian long poems involve two walks—one in the Alberta Tar Sands, and the other in Wordsworth’s beloved Grasmere. In the first instance Wordsworthian description is applied to the impossible to aestheticize Tar Sands; in the second, Wordsworth’s own beloved home is revealed not as an alternative to the destruction of extraction, but as conditioned, surrounded, and structured by it.

By Stephen Collis

Stephen Collis is the author of six books of poetry, including the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize–winning On the Material (Talonbooks, 2010). His memoir, Almost Islands: Phyllis Webb and the Pursuit of the Unwritten, was published by Talonbooks in 2018. He teaches contemporary poetry and poetics at Simon Fraser University. Collis was the 2019 recipient of the Latner Writers’ Trust Poetry Prize, which is given to a mid-career poet in recognition of a remarkable body of work, and in anticipation of future contributions to Canadian poetry.

Read more about Stephen Collis

news | 2017-08-16
Talon poets in Contemporary Verse 2: Convergence

…review (found on page 163) of Stephen Collis’s Once in Blockadia and Danielle LaFrance’s Friendly + Fire . See …

news | 2017-03-17
Once in Blockadia is short-listed for the George Ryga Award!

…Robinson “the most dangerous poet in Canada,” in Once in Blockadia Collis is in search of how we can continue to … surname, the three titles on the short list are: Once in Blockadia , Stephen Collis (Talonbooks) Wade Davis: …

news | 2017-02-15
Once in Blockadia long-listed for the George Ryga Award!

…Robinson “the most dangerous poet in Canada,” in Once in Blockadia Collis is in search of how we can continue to … surname, the ten titles on the long list are: Once in Blockadia , Stephen Collis (Talonbooks) Tomboy Survival …

news | 2016-10-24
Our Fall 2016 books are launched!

…projected behind her Stephen Collis reads from Once in Blockadia, only to toss the book aside later and recite a …

news | 2016-10-19
Tomorrow: Talon’s big fall launch!

…night: Poetry! Reading Sveva by Daphne Marlatt Once in Blockadia by Stephen Collis slick reckoning by Ken Belford …

news | 2016-10-03
All the Fall 2016 poetry is in the house!

…illuminating the poetry. Stephen Collis’s Once in Blockadia ($18.95) came next, also in time for WORD. Collis …

news | 2016-08-29
This fall, hear readings from Once in Blockadia along the Cascadia coast

…Stephen Collis’s new collection of poetry, Once in Blockadia, comes out in September, and Collis is taking it … hear Collis read from his forthcoming book, Once in Blockadia. The Switch hosts Jen Coleman, Stephen Collis, … Save the dates! And, in the meantime, pre-order Once in Blockadia for $18.95. …

news | 2016-07-04
Fall 2016 previews!

…artist, and the search for a sense of belonging. Once in Blockadia is a new collection of long and serial poems by …