July 5, 2018

CATCHING UP & REREADING

It's been a season of so much to catch up on.


For instance, this fabulous interview with Ben Ladouceur, this year's Dayne Ogilvie prize winner, at Open Book.

I always find reliably wonderful attractions at Andrew Ray's Some Landscapes, and need to drop in more frequently at Clarissa Aykroyd's The Stone and the Star.  I found Thomas Whyte's great little Volksy bus of an interview site when he asked me to answer a few questions -- visit Billeh Nickerson, Cassidy McFadzean, Sennah Yee, Joelle Barron and many more there.

Two of the many books calling me back for re-reading are Darren Bifford's False Spring, a breathtaking collection of arguments and conversation with poetry and the world (Open Book also ran a great interview with him), and Allan Cooper's luminous Everything We’ve Loved Comes Back to Find Us. (Full disclosure: I was the NB Book Awards judge who chose Cooper's book as the 2018 winner of The Fiddlehead Poetry Book Prize.)


Judith Herz's John Donne and Contemporary Poetry charts a kind of life and afterlife in essays and poems that roam, study, live with, and inspire, with contributions from Carl Phillips, Steph Burt, Alicia Ostriker, Molly Peacock and more.

The to-read list grows ever longer -- AF Moritz's The Sparrow, Amanda Jernigan's Years, Months, Days, Steve McOrmond's Reckon, even some not yet made into books, like Sonnet L'Abbé's Sonnet's Shakespeare (see three at Numéro Cinq), due this fall --

-- as does the dipped-into-will-return: Roo Borson, Cardinal at the Eastern Red Cedar (so quietly persistent, these poems), Brenda Hillman's Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire (notes on every page so far) … I've even had to put LitHub on pause …







May 24, 2018

SARAH DESROSIERS-LEGAULT: I AM MADE OF THIS

Sarah DesRosiers-Legault
I AM MADE OF THIS

After another one
dies, they'll tell me: don't
avoid being alive.

But - my body is worn
by the in-between.
My skin knows that cold place,

naked on tiles, sticky and
dying. When I am in rehab, I’ll
notice more.

I’ll see that mosquitos
under blue light are
some sort of magic. I can hear.

Gravity makes noise when you
know it’s there. Over the filling of the
mop bucket I’ll tell you about the times

I was molested. I’ll notice the brightness
of the yellow and the muck in the places
muck can build up.

Some stars eat other stars, you know?
One swells until it can
swallow the other whole,

they call it sharing.
A promise that hides what will
explode into black holes.

On good days

I'm okay with being alive,
I just want to do it drunk.


Sarah DesRosiers-Legault writes, works,studies and lives in Montreal. Her work has been published in Anti-Heroin Chic. On writing poetry, she says: For me poetry is an act of healing. Somehow it makes saying the unsayable so much easier. Also, it is a way of eternalizing every thing or person I have lost. I get to enter different elements of my own grieving that I might not have even known to be there. This piece ("I Am Made of This") was inspired by "The New Experience" by Suzanne Buffam, which I read while I was feeling blocked--it immediately cured that. I can sometimes find it difficult to share my poems, as they really are such personal parts of myself. I think what I’ve learnt as a poet is that I probably just have to suck it up and put it out there.