Bloom is the electrifying debut collection from one of our best emerging poets. If a studio technician could "remix" poems by modern and contemporary poets so they retold the story of the Manhattan Project from the viewpoint of Louis Slotin, simultaneously putting Robert Lowell in whispered conversation with Ted Hughes, as vocalized by a Canadian physicist from Winnipeg, over the current state of literary utopian projects, we'd hear something nearly as captivating as Michael Lista's Bloom. As it is, we also get "Lista" swimming ghostlike through this palimpsest-narrative, inhabiting Slotin and brashly "tickling the dragon's tail" at the nucleus of untested notions of creation, stasis, and destruction. In Bloom, one of the most dangerous historical fulcrums of the last century is somehow made viscerally present again, and, more wondrously, made to radiate outward into very current crises.
Michael Lista is the author of Bloom, the critically acclaimed collection of poems that was named one of Quill and Quire's ten best books of 2010. His work has been nominated for the National Magazine Award, and twice for the Pushcart Prize. Lista is the Poetry Editor of The Walrus and he writes a popular monthly column, On Poetry, for the National Post. He lives in Toronto.
There is much to take from this collection. Not only is its face beautiful, its body yields clues both to the genetic makeup of poetry - the process of parenting and birthing it - and the purpose of life.
Bloom is all one might hope for in a book of poetry: an unencumbered, nervy fusion of imagination and form.