Friday, June 06, 2008

subverting the lyric: essays

rob mclennan
Toronto: ECW Press, 2008

My book of literary essays is finally out. Here's information from the publisher's catalogue:
One of the most prolific and engaged book reviewers in Canada over the past fifteen years, Ottawa writer rob mclennan has slowly been moving into longer forms, producing essays on the works of such diverse Canadian writers as George Bowering, Jon Paul Fiorentino, jwcurry, Margaret Christakos, and Barry McKinnon.

subverting the lyric: essays works through mclennan’s years of writing, thinking, and blogging through literature, as reader, writer, performer, editor, critic, reviewer, and just plain fan of the art. In these fifteen pieces, mclennan writes about travel, Canadian poets in general — and some very specifically — as well as his own investigations of the writer’s craft. Together, they remap our literary and linguistic landscape, “the contours, rifts, subductions, tectonic plates of the medium in which we exist,” inscribing a poetics of geography, process, and culture that is at once strikingly new and refreshingly communal. The breadth of mclennan’s take on Canadian poetry, alone, is remarkable: his ability to reconcile the concerns, successes, and failures of both the “mainstream” and the “fringe” of our literature urges — and begins — a critical overhaul that’s been long overdue.

table of contents:
1. Dubliners: Irish Utaniki
2. Not Exactly Two Cents' Worth: jwcurry's 1cent
3. What's Love Got to Do with It? Margaret Christakos' and Excessive Love Prostheses
4. Train Journal: Vancouver ― Toronto
5. A Life Built Up in Poems: Intersections with Some of George Bowering's Lines
6. Yes, I Have Published a Lot of Stuff: A Dozen Reasons Why I Will Not Apologize: A Schizophrenic Text for a Talk I Will Probably Not Follow
7. Tads: An Appreciation
8. Sex at Thirty-One, Thirty-Eight, Forty-Five, Fifty-Two, et cetera
9. A Displacement in Reading: Meredith Quartermain's The Eye-Shift of Surface and Other Writing
10. Jon Paul Fiorentino's Transcona, Winnipeg, and the Poetics of Failure
11. The Trouble with Normal: Breathing Fire 2, Pissing Ice, and the State of Canadian Poetry
12. One Selected, Two Selected: Changing on the Fly: The Best Lyric Poems of George Bowering
13. Some Notes on Narrative and the Long Poem: A Sequence of Sequences
14. Barry McKinnon's North: Opening Up The Centre
15. Notes on a day book
16. no more capital capitals: notes on The Ottawa City Project

various of these pieces (much earlier drafts, in some cases) have appeared in, Open Letter, Jacket magazine, RAMPIKE, The Globe & Mail, and on this blog, over the years.

ECW Press link; American link;
note that Nathaniel G. Moore wrote on such;

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