From Gil Adamson, author of The Outlander and Ridgerunner, nominated for the Giller Prize
Neogothicism, the surrealist snapshot, feminist Western and postmodern parable are just some of the elements that feed Gil Adamson’s second collection of poems. Adamson creates a world fully awash in violence and history, the absurdities of the frontier, the gorgeous terrors of death. Everything is simple, and yet nothing is as it seems.
Moving easily from prose poem to lyric, verbal portrait to improbable biography, Ashland leads us on a macabre tour of our nightmares, perverse secrets, and death-focused mythologies: “In the end we see ourselves. We last longer. The night opens its mouth, and we step in.”
The poems in Ashland lay the groundwork for Adamson’s award-winning and internationally bestselling fiction.
We look away from his open mouth,
look instead at the corn, the crows
floating above the river in their private worries.
Tonight, when we turn in,
the candle will sputter and blow.
Pinched out easily, all flame
gives way to this wide black wing.
— excerpt from “Black Wing”
Gil Adamson is the author of the poetry collection Primitive, the short story collection Help Me, Jacques Costeau, and the novels The Outlander, which won the Hammett Prize and the Amazon.ca First Novel Award, and Ridgerunner, which was nominated for the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize and the 2020 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.