Billeh Nickerson is a Vancouver-based poet well-known across Canada for his playful, witty observations on sex and culture. In Impact, his third poetry collection from Arsenal, Billeh turns his attention to a more serious subject that has fascinated him ever since he was achild: the sinking of the Titanic.
Published on the 100th anniversary of the disaster (which occurred on the night of April 15, 1912), Impactis an intimate and evocative poetry collection that depicts the tragedy in a series of poetic snapshots. Based on historical research the author conducted in Belfast and his birthplace of Halifax, the poems document not only the history behind the ship's construction, but what life must have been like for those aboardher maiden voyage and in the years following her sinking. While many readers are familiar with the various myths surrounding the ship and its sinking, thisbook offers a new, startlingly sensitive perspective with poems that take readers inside the hearts and minds of its passengers.close this panel
The beauty of Impact: The Titanic Poems is in both its narration and its accessibility of language. Nickerson packs a lot of story into these spare poems.
?Vancouver is Awesome
The poems themselves are poignant and evocative, and better researched than most theses.
As though by its gigantic cinematic rendering, the tragedy of the Titanic had ceased to be real or have meaning, but it turns out that one hundred years later, poetry was what was required?the opposite of gigantic?to re-instill the story with solidity.
?Pickle Me This
Released in time for the one-hundredth anniversary of the disaster that inspired it, this compact little collection, Impact: The Titanic Poems, is enough to restore one's faith in poetry.
Impact is the most perfect title for a series of poems that explore the many unseen facets of the disaster and I can't recommend it highly enough ... This gathering of poems creates a form of lamentation both heart-breaking and immediate, working as they do to reduce the tragedy down from flabby myth and sensation to its very essence, the lives of the people and their escape, or their sad and harrowing demise, and Billeh Nickerson doesn't flinch from the detail.
[Nickerson] proves skilled at evoking powerful images of the mythic vessel, taking the reader on a journey from the ship's construction right through the death of the last survivor ... This book is full of simple grace, and honours those affected by the wreck of the great ship.
?Quill and Quire (STARRED REVIEW)
Nickerson's poetry is soulful, drawn to alienation, love/lust/heartache, cultural politics, and the infernal contradictions of daily life — For Impact, Nickerson maintains a characteristic focus on fleeting poignant moments and instances of individual perspective.
Herein lies poetry as storytelling, embedded with numerous socio-historical nuances.