Chewing Water continues Nelson Ball's fascinating forays into the social, into communities of humans, after spending decades writing almost exclusively about nature. While mourning, loss, and decay are featuring more heavily than ever in his poetry, friendship, hope, and love are gaining on those themes. Nelson's poems concentrate on the tiniest things, the tiniest moments: a letter of the alphabet, an expired fly, a crack in a friend's wall, the tone of a friend's voice. While these poems are brief, the spirit behind them is expansive. This book is a landmark in the growing oeuvre of a Canadian poet whose influence has only grown over the decades.
About the author
Nelson Ball is a poet and bookseller living in Paris, Ontario, who has been writing since the early 1960s. He has worked as a labourer, chauffeur, clerk, seasonal forest ranger, record store clerk, and janitor. From 1965 to 1973 he ran the legendary Weed/Flower Press, publishing mimeo editions of early books by Victor Coleman, Carol Bergé, David McFadden, bill bissett, bpNichol, and many others. Nelson is the author of more than 30 poetry books and chapbooks. He and his late wife, the artist Barbara Caruso, are the subject of Catherine Stevenson's 2014 documentary film Nelson Ball & Barbara Caruso / Home Project / A Photo Documentary.