Jonathan Ball’s Clock?re is a suite of poetic blueprints for imaginary plays that would be impossible to produce – plays in which, for example, the director burns out the sun, actors murder their audience or the laws of physics are de?led. The poems in a sense replace the need for drama, and are predicated on the idea that modern theatre lacks both ‘clocks’ and ‘?re’ and thus fails to offer its audiences immediate, violent engagement. They sometimes resemble the scores for Fluxus ‘happenings,’ but replace the casual aesthetic and DIY simplicity of Fluxus art with something more akin to the brutality of Artaud’s theatre of cruelty. Italo Calvino as rewritten by H. P. Lovecraft, Ball’s ‘plays’ break free of the constraints of reality and artistic category to revel in their own dazzling, magni?cent horror.
‘[Ball is] one of our most exciting young poets.’ – Robert Kroetsch
Jonathan Ball teaches English, film and writing at universities in Winnipeg. He is the author of Ex Machina and Clockfire, which was shortlisted for a Manitoba Book Award. Ex Machina considers the relationship between humans, books and machines, and Clockfire contains 77 plays that would be impossible to produces. Both books were published under Creative Commons licenses, so you can remix their contents. Ball's latest collection, The Politics of Knives, won the 2013 Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize for Poetry (Manitoba Book Awards).