news | Tuesday May 8, 2012
This month, Governor General’s Poetry Award finalists Weyman Chan and Colin Browne will join local poetry impresario Daniel Zomparelli for a book launch at the Anza Club in Vancouver on May 15, followed by a launch at Audreys Books in Edmonton on May 23, and then a launch at Pages on Kensington in Calgary on May 24.
Beneath a cupola of sky as fragile as pigmented pottery, searching for a place beyond “perpetual worry”, in Chinese Blue, Weyman Chan draws on more than two thousand years of ancient Chinese tradition, including the spiritual teachings of Kong Zi or Lao Tzu, the military dicta of Sun Tzu, and the complex sensibilities expressed by poets such as Ssu-ma Hsiang-ju, Li Bai, Du Fu and Wang Wei in the wake of a tumultuous imperial government. Our poet restates these concerns of the past while addressing other “first world problems” in our own contemporary era.
With a manifesto that celebrates the stick as rudimentary element and a framework informed by the shell and palm frond chart as a guide for negotiating invisible “swells” of history, Colin Browne’s The Properties ranges from a twenty-first-century visitation by Herman Melville at a diner in New York City to an unknown history of the Lions Gate Bridge that begins in the Coast Salish village of Xwemelch’stn and ends with an assassination in Egypt, mingling in a music tugging at the undulating “lyre” of Lion’s Gate Bridge.
Ranging from the rhapsodic to the epigrammatic with his dangerously experimental narrative that snorts the alphabet, in Davie Street Translations, Daniel Zomparelli imbues the fast-paced drug and party culture of Davie Village’s young gay males with grand poignancy and pathos. With drag queens and porn fantasy figures in tow, the poet brashly faces up to fears of HIV and gay bashing on this poetic street that is a universe, where we turn away from violence, “dance fight, or turn it into a musical / West Side-like.”
By the way, ALL THREE titles are now available from Talonbooks!