This spring we've made it our mission (even more than usual) to celebrate new releases in the wake of cancelled launch parties, book festivals, and reading series. With 49th Shelf Launchpad, we're holding virtual launch parties here on our platform complete with witty banter and great insight to give you a taste of the books on offer. You can request these books from your local library, get them as e-books or audio books, order them from your local indie bookseller if they're delivering, buy them direct from the publisher or from online retailers.
Today we're launching Glass Float, by Jane Munro, of which Ian Williams writes, "Like glass floats themselves, these neat, clear poems contain Munro's breath. They cross oceans."
The Elevator Pitch. Tell us about your book in a sentence.
Like glass floats themselves—with someone’s breath inside them—these neat, clear poems cross oceans, connecting mind and body, self and others, physical and metaphysical, art and nature, east and west, north and south.
Describe your ideal reader.
An observant walker, a reflective listener, someone who loves talking with a close friend, making things, getting moving but also the still times of going within.
What authors/books is your work in conversation with?
So many! This is a hard question.
Yesterday, I listened to the national finals for Poetry in Voice https://www.poetryinvoice.com/
Amazing! Inspiring. Wonderful recitations by high school students of powerful poems. English, French, Bi-lingual—three diverse and intelligent, passionate, finalists in each stream reciting three poems by Canadian poets. It lifted my spirits!
What is something interesting you learned about your book/yourself/your subject during the process of creating and publishing your book?
For months and months, I thought I was writing a different book, but had to stop to prepare a day-long poetry workshop and a keynote address for a festival. The day after I got back, I woke up with the realization: I did have a book of poems, but it wasn’t the one I’d thought I was writing. One week later (a week of total and intensive absorption in the manuscript), I’d drafted Glass Float. I learned it was helpful to let go of a project while working on something else.
An important part of any book launch are the thank you’s. Go ahead, and acknowledge someone whose support has been integral to this project.
Someone? My thanks go to all the wonderful people at Brick Books! And, to my yoga teachers.
What are you reading right now or next?
My book group is currently reading (re-reading, for most of us) Sheila Watson’s The Double Hook. It’s the book on my bedside table—an early modernist classic in Canadian literature. Marvellous and resonant to rediscover.
What follows is Jane Munro sirsasana—a 57 second video of me reciting a poem from Glass Float about Geeta Iyengar renovating my headstand while I am in headstand. It was filmed by Guy Immega.
Griffin Award-winner returns with new poems that are spacious with interiority, alive with a hard-earned lightness.
Waves carried a glass float--designed to hold up a fishing net—across the Pacific. Beached it safely. Someone's breath is inside it.
In Glass Float, her seventh collection, award-winning poet Jane Munro considers the widening of horizons that border and shape our lives, the familiarity and mystery of conscious experience, and the deepening awareness that comes with a dedicated practice such as yoga. This book is about connections: mind and body; self and others; physical and metaphysical; art and nature; west and east, north and south.
In "Convexities," the book's opening poem, Munro quotes the grandfather who taught her to paint: "art is suggestion; art is not representation." No concavities, he said. Only the "little hummocks" that her pencil outlined as she did contour drawings. Munro's deft suggestion, her tracing of convexities, conveys underlying complexities, not by explication, but by looking with eyes and heart open to where mysteries almost surface.
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