Following Surani's previous collection Operations, which excavated the debasement done to language by nations worldwide, how does one return to using language for poetry? Are the Rivers in Your Poems Real responds to this question. Amidst the dangers of figurative language, the coercion of sentimentality and the insidious freight of abstraction, these poems embody the necessity for the critical, the communal, the real. This collection uses conceptual critiques of public discourse and experimental social cartographies, as well as lyrics of intimacy, to defy prescribed ways of being.
Are the Rivers in Your Poems Real is an act of resistance against dangerous and domineering narratives, and the power they inscribe.
Praise for Operations:
"A vast, invisible network of information spiderwebs out from each code word; Surani challenges readers to consider the world beneath this language, and the human toll it both illuminates and obscures." —Maisonneuve Magazine
About the author
Moez Surani has travelled, studied, and worked in countries around the world. His writing has been featured in numerous publications, including the Best Canadian Poetry (2013 and 2014), The Walrus, The Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, and PRISM International. His first poetry collection, Reticent Bodies (Wolsak and Wynn), was published in 2009. In that same year, he won a Chalmers Arts Fellowship, and later, attended artists' residencies in Italy, Finland, Latvia, Switzerland, Taiwan, and Canada. His second poetry collection, Floating Life (Wolsak and Wynn), was published in 2012. “???” Operación Opération Operation “” O???????, Surani's third book, was a finalist for Les Figues Press Book Prize (2014), and is forthcoming from BookThug in the fall of 2016.