Deportment is a selection of poems – surreal, cerebral, and defiant – by Alice Burdick. Burdick examines the dangers of dogma, women’s rights, and environmental degradation in biting satires, moving elegies, and anti-sentimental lyrics filled with mischievous wordplay. The selection includes some of Burdick’s most iconic poems as well as rare work from the beginning of her career in 1990s Toronto and previously unpublished material. Burdick’s later poetry, more expansive in form and subject matter, addresses motherhood, the rural landscape, and sex and desire at middle age. Deportment makes the case for Alice Burdick as one of Canada’s best poets, alongside figures such as Lisa Robertson, Karen Solie, and Sina Queyras.
Alessandro Porco’s introduction situates Burdick’s early work within the Toronto small press scene, focusing on her fugitive chapbooks, broadsides, and literary ephemera while highlighting her formative relationships with Victor Coleman and Stuart Ross. He traces her move from Toronto to Nova Scotia in the early 2000s and the impact of publishing from the social and spatial margins of Canadian literature.
In her afterword, Burdick reflects on everyday life – as a poet and citizen, daughter and mother –in both the zombieland of downtown Toronto and the alien geography of Eastern Canada. She explores how the comparative speed, sound, and density of urban and rural spaces have shaped her literary imagination.
About the authors
Alice Burdick lives in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia. She is co-owner of Lexicon Books in Lunenburg, and serves on the board of the Writers Federation of Nova Scotia. In the early 1990s, she was co-editor of The Eternal Network, and assistant coordinator of the Toronto Small Press Fair. She is the author of many chapbooks and three full-length poetry collections: Simple Master (Pedlar Press, 2002); Flutter (Mans?eld Press, 2008); and Holler (Mansfield Press, 2012). Her work has appeared in many magazines, online and in print, and was shortlisted for the First Lemonhound Poetry Prize. Her poetry has been included in several anthologies, including Surreal Estate: 13 Canadian Poets Under the In?uence (The Mercury Press), Shift & Switch: New Canadian Poetry (The Mercury Press), Pissing Ice: An Anthology of New Canadian Poets (BookThug), To Find Us: words and images of Halifax (HRMP), and the forthcoming The Child Alone Anthology (Frog Hollow Press).
Alessandro Porco is a poet, critic, and scholar from Toronto, Canada. He earned his Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo. His research focuses on twentieth-century poetry and poetics. Porco lives in Wilmington, where he is an Assistant Professor of English at UNCW.
Jerrold Levy was born and raised in New York City. He is the grandson of poet Mina Loy and son of art dealer Julien Levy. He attended Black Mountain College from 1947 to 1950, studying under Ilya Bolotowsky, Merce Cunningham, and Charles Olson. In 1959, Levy received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Chicago.
Richard Negro grew up in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, a suburb located twenty-five miles outside New York City. He attended Black Mountain College from 1947 to 1950 and was a star pupil of physicist Natasha Goldowski and poet M.C. Richards. He later studied physics at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Alessandro Porco is a poet, critic, and scholar from Toronto, Canada. He earned his Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo. His research focuses on twentieth-century poetry and poetics. Porco lives in Wilmington, North Carolina, where he is an Assistant Professor of English at UNCW.