A Temporary Stranger is comprised of three sections: Homages, Fake Poems, and Recollections. In Homages we find poems of reverence and honour, tributes to writers who had opened up the world of poetry to Jamie. There are poems to Spicer, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Breton, Francis Ponge, Tristan Tzara and others. At the centre of A Temporary Stranger are the Fake Poems, so called because "There is no art on earth that can fully represent the exact and flowing experience of viewing stone within the flow of water and the waving light within the water and around the stone, and the subsequent sense of awe and beauty that arises in the interaction between the seer and the seen... . In that sense, all art is fake... "
The third section, Recollections, is an assemblage of articles paeans, really - to Robin Blaser, bill bissett, Warren Tallman, John Newlove, Curt Lang, Nellie McClung, Artie Gold, Kim Goldberg, Kate Braid, and others. Here, as friend and editor Karl Siegler states in his Foreword, "we encounter memory-not as a form of nostalgia for a bygone golden age of a romanticised pastoral arcadia ... but as an historical record of who did what when, and to what end, throughout the counterculture revolution that shaped the lives of Jamie Reid and his companions over the past six decades."
About the author
In 1961, at the University of British Columbia, Jamie Reid met Warren Tallman and together with George Bowering, Fred Wah, he and several other writers founded TISH. His first book of poems, The Man Whose Path Was on Fire (1969) took the Canadian literary scene by storm. Reid’s poetic work is fiercely intelligent, fearlessly incisive, and always politically charged. His recent work includes I. Another. The Space Between (Talonbooks).