Set firmly at the end of the millennium, A Broken Bowl takes on the burden of history, with its heaped atrocities, its unimaginable sufferings. This long poem is an angry lament, a summoning of fragments, a meditation in the midst of an exhausted world. By turns lyric, satiric, elegiac and incantatory, A Broken Bowl is filled with passionate elemental writing in the tradition of Howl and Crow.
"Picture-building poetry doesn't get better than this. Patrick Friesen communicates directly to your imagination. These fragments of a broken bowl are, indeed, much greater than the sum of their parts as they spur imaginal encounters not only with Friesen but with the scattered bits of the reader's self - each piece a new gesture to try on." -- Per Brask.
"These are the end days - someone's got a kitchen knife and is 'looking for the government' the river is a 'filthy transfusion.' Patrick Friesen sings this dark song with beauty and a guttering love. We're long past apology, reconstruction: there's only Friesen's voice not nearly enough, sure, but the only thing worthy of trust." -- Tim Lilburn.
NOMINATED for the 1997 Governor General's Award for Poetry.
About the author
Patrick Friesen is the author of Blasphemer's Wheel, winner of the Manitoba Book of the Year Award and runner-up for the Milton Acorn People's Poetry Award. A Broken Bowl was short-listed for the Governor General's Award. His most recent work st. mary at main was shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. He has also written for stage, radio, TV and film. He lives in Vancouver where he teaches writing.
Patrick Friesen's newest collection Carrying the Shadow is a haunting ode to the lives we have felt too briefly, known only in passing and yearn to hold still. While those who loved them keen softly between his lines, Friesen invokes their loss as one remembers a cool breath on the back of the neck, a faint shadow on a headstone, a watermark on the bedstand. With wisdom and beauty and invention, Friesen walks us through the graveyard of human kind where a symphony of voices still conduct the lives left behind long after they depart flesh for spirit. Intermingling prose poems and traditional free verse, Friesen both narrates and sings the stories of absence and forgetting, tales of lingering memory and fleeting love. With infinite candor and sensitivity, Friesen celebrates the lives of idols and iconoclasts, wives and widows, farmers and freeloaders. For anyone who has urged another title in the canon of Friesen's award-winning work, here is a collection worthy of accolade. Death has no dominion, but poetry has dominion over all.
" ... A powerful lamentation and perhaps also a necessary catharsis." Ñ Glen Downie, Event