BOLT, the debut collection from West Coast performance poet Hilary Peach, ranges over both familiar and unexplored landscapes. From a series of surreal vignettes derived from 20 years as a welder with the Boilermakers' Union, to a suite of poems based on the truths and superstitions of snakelore, to alluring, imagistic, songs of loss and longing, BOLT investigates rough terrain and long horizons. A compilation of poetry, performance scores, and autobiography, it is full of voices, places, fleeting encounters, animals, busted hearts, machinery, and extreme weather. Delicate portraits of birds muscle in on experimental scripts. Buffalo thunder through the text. Lovers are left weeping, factory stacks rear up against boiling skies, and coal trains thread silently through clouds of fugitive dust. It is a collection of scars and a compendium of remedies. BOLT is a measurement of lightening. But it's also a carefully engineered fastener that holds things together. It's the familiar impulse that occasionally seizes us all, to suddenly run, out of control.
Hilary Peach is a writer, recording artist, and producer. She has released three CDs: Poems Only Dogs Can Hear, Suitcase Local, and Dictionary of Snakes. For twenty years she has worked as a welder and is a member of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Shipbuilders, Blacksmiths, Forgers, & Helpers. She maintains a small blacksmith shop and an interdisciplinary art practice on Gabriola Island.