A microscopic and intense view of the sometimes invisible and ignored parts of the world we inhabit. Peering into cities and our place within them, the poet searches for meaning after the death of his father, and observes the flora and fauna, which provide beauty and nourish us. This book delights the senses and poses the question, are we contributing to, or ultimately destroying our planet?
About the author
Zachari Logan is a queer Canadian poet and artist whose art is exhibited widely in both group and solo exhibitions throughout North America, Europe and Asia. In 2014, Logan received the Lieutenant Governor's Award for emerging artists, and in 2016, Logan was long-listed for the Sobey Award. In 2010, his chapbook, A Eulogy for the Buoyant, was published by JackPine Press. Zachari Logan lives in Regina, Saskatchewan.
By unfurling the lush yet brittle-bone language of his art practice onto the page, Zachari Logan has crafted a record of smaller worlds, of elegiac gardens of skin and loss, of impermanence and beauty. A Natural History of Unnatural Things is infused with the same idiosyncratic attentiveness that characterises Logan's visual work; his is a vision that is simultaneously up-close and panoptic.
In A Natural History of Unnatural Things, Zachari Logan draws on art, culture, travel and personal experience to portray his vision, using surreal and startling images that force leaps in the imagination. The poems range from finely honed lyrics to spare imagistic poems (in couplets) to prose-poem meditations rich with horror images often drawn from dreams or dreamlike memories. Here is a poet who comes with his first collection of poems that packs a lifetime experience from his reimagined birth to his meeting with his gay lover to somewhat droll eco-friendly conjectures about what he wants done with his body after his death, and all this considered in the larger context of our Homo sapiens evolutionary roots followed into a dystopic present.
--gillian harding-russell, author of Uninterrupted and In Another Air
At times intimate and diaristic, at others raw and abrasive, Logan's poems draws the reader deeper into a richly evocative, perceptual realm. Line after line, each poem weaves a web of alternative relativities where human and non-human are enmeshed, inescapably caught in awesome interdependency. Recurring figures, circumstances, and conversational fragments outline an existentialist journey where materiality exudes desire. Logan's ability to tease the numinous out of the mundane is only one of the many gifts pressed between the pages of this book. As time and space collapse into a universe of visionary landscapes, one becomes aware that Logan's poetry belongs to the kind that forever changes the reader's perspective on the world. An experimental take on romantic post-humanism, A Natural History of Unnatural Things has its roots firmly planted in the dirt as its tendrils soar towards the sky, where waxy blooms and nectarine delights remind us that every minute in life is well worth savoring.
--Giovanni Aloi, author of (2019, Prestel) Speculative Taxidermy: Natural History, Animal Surfaces, and Art in the Anthropocene (2017: Columbia University Press)
Poetry and visual art have an intimate relationship, and the brilliant artist Zachari Logan demonstrates just how magnificent the exchange of imagery can be in his stunning debut poetry collection, A Natural History of Unnatural Things. In Logan's hands, the imprint of a moth wing on a napkin, or a loose tooth, or a cast-off cat claw in an ashtray can have heart-wrenching, macrocosmic ramifications. Combining the natural with the human-made, these poems become assemblages as complex as the horticultural collages of Mary Delany that Logan reveres. A Natural History of Unnatural Things reminds us that poetry comes from the kaleidoscopic imagination, yet it is Logan's life experiences that ground the wisdom of these always unpredictable, sumptuously precise, unflinchingly observed poems.
--Molly Peacock, author of The Paper Garden, Flower Diary and The Analyst: Poems.