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ISBN: 9780889226203 | Paperback

$17.95 | 120 pages | Pub. Date: 2009 | Edition # 1
6.00 W × 9.00 H × 0.29 D inches
Poetry | Backlist | Bisac: POE011000
ISBN 13: 9780889226203 | Rights: WORLD

Including poetry projects, a chapbook and incidental poems previously published in magazines and by small presses, is a door makes use of the poem’s ability for “suddenness” to subvert closure: the sudden question, the sudden turn, the sudden opening—writing that is generated from linguistic mindfulness, improvisation, compositional problem-solving, collaborative events, travel, investigation and documentary—in short, poetry as practice.
Part one, “Isadora Blue,” is grounded in the author’s encounter with the smashed and broken doors along the hurricane-devastated waterfront of Telchac Puerto, a small village on the north coast of the Yucatán Peninsula. It resonates throughout the other three sections of the book, with its attention to hybridity and “between-ness”—a poetic investigation of racialized otherness—and the composition of “citizen” and “foreigner” through history and language.

Part two of this series of poems, “Ethnogy Journal,” written during a trip to Thailand and Laos in 1999, hinges around aspects of “tourist” and “native.” Here the poems play in the interstices of spectacle, food and social sightseeing.

Much of this poetry is framed by Wah’s acute sense of the marginalized non-urban local “place” and coloured by his attempt to articulate senses of otherness and resistance, or writing the “public self,” particularly in the book’s third section, “Discount Me In”—a series of sixteen poems from his discursive poetic essay “Count Me In.”

The fourth section, “Hinges,” is tinted with portraits of the social subject mired in a diasporic mix, a metanarrative trope in Fred Wah’s work that began with Breathin’ My Name With a Sigh.

Characteristically playful and compositionally musical, this is poetry that watches both sides of the doorway: unsettled, unpredictable, closed and open. Sometimes the door swings and can be kicked. Sometimes it’s simply missing. Sometimes it’s a sliding door.

Winner 2010 BC Book Prize: Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize

“Wah’s poems continually return us to … the realization of our shared, not individual, life.”
Montreal Gazette

“Without a doubt, is a door is a dazzler, a thoughtful, playful and stunningly skillful four-part foray into the nature of ‘suddenness’ and its inherent ability ‘to subvert closure’ on the brink of unexpected entrances and exits.”
Globe & Mail

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

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news | 2013-07-12
Fred Wah Appointed to the Order of Canada

…poet laureate. Of his seventeen books of poetry, is a door received the B.C. Book Prize, Waiting For …

news | 2012-03-01
Poet Laureate Reads in Ottawa!

…two collections of poetry, Sentenced to Light and is a door plus a selected edited by Louis Cabri titled The …

news | 2011-12-20
Fred Wah Is Our Poet Laureate!

…Poet Laureate! Of his seventeen books of poetry, is a door received the BC Book Prize, Waiting For …

news | 2010-03-02
Fred Wah could be Kazuo Ishiguro’s guide to understanding Poetry

…published in magazines and by small presses, is a door makes use of the poem’s ability for “suddenness” … Read the Globe and Mail review of the acclaimed is a door by Governor General’s Award-winner Fred Wah. …