“As accomplished as Jonathan Bennett is at using language, he’s never fussy or precious about it. With his exacting, contemporary voice, part colourful reporter, part reluctant witness, his lines gain their effect by serving experience in the most necessary way possible, via clear-eyed attention and vivid diction. The result is an immediacy often lacking in other poetry. Civil and Civic’s nimble narratives will crackle in your ear.” — David O’Meara, author of Noble Gas, Penny Black
The poems of Jonathan Bennett’s second collection, Civil and Civic, probe for present meanings of civility and civic mindedness, search for boundaries between private and public realms, and question the sprawling and often unintended effects of transparency and obligation. Medicine, the military, science, public relations, social justice, media, business, and the environmental movement are just some of the worlds these poems inhabit.
Not without a spirit of play, in Civil and Civic Bennett emerges as a disquieting curator, giving the reader poetry that is relevant, humane, political, investigative, and outward looking. Yet, within which, he supplies voice to private moments, isolated or suppressed incidents, and to the happy accidents that can occur within language when irreconcilable spheres of influence meet and open up new meanings, ideas, hope even.
About the author
Jonathan Bennett is the author Here is my street, this tree I planted for ECW Press, and After Battersea Park and Verandah People for Raincoast Books. In 2003, he was a finalist for ARC magazine’s “poem of the year” award. Originally from Sydney, Australia, he now lives in Port Hope, Ontario.
“Bennett’s artistry lies in his ability to create poems that shatter complacency with bricks of loaded language.” — Quill & Quire