A hopeful, timely new collection of poems that take up our ever-evolving relationship with technology.
Starting from an urge to reconcile the human need for stability with what's happening in a constantly fluid "now," Dreampad, Trillium Book Award for Poetry winner poet Jeff Latosik's startling new collection, ponders whether an ideal for living is viable when we're not sure we can say yes or no to anything in a world that's growing increasingly ephemeral and entangled with the virtual.
These poems, however, are a salvo--or "protest" in the most useful sense of that word--a reminder we might already own a verbal architecture to express the difficulty of being alive in a world that can, could, and might still even be humane, loving, habitable.
JEFF LATOSIK is the author of two previous collections of poetry, Tiny, Frantic, Stronger, winner of the 2011 Trillium Book Award for Poetry and a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, and Safely Home Pacific Western as well as the chapbook Helium Ear. His work has been nominated for a National Magazine Award and included in The Best Canadian Poetry in 2015 and 2016. He lives in Toronto.
Praise for Jeff Latosik's Dreampad:
"Jeff Latosik makes visible the digital 'labyrinth of looking' and clicking, where 'music seems to spy' on all of us. In Dreampad, the intricate interiority of the speaker interfaces with relentless technology. Memories are retrieved from the cloud. Tenderness blossoms in the matrix. Latosik's poems—inquisitive, dazzling—warn against and show us how to survive in the noise and blur of Now." —Eduardo C. Corral, author of Slow Lightning
"The poems in Jeff Latosik's Dreampad, like the technologies they reference, sing but also sample, reverberate, crackle with static, and sound alarms. There are 'keyboard taps and singular cash register riffs,' 'noise machines set to heartbeat,' and the titular pillow, a product that plays soothing music. The 'touchpad of options' in this book includes the lyric and the conversational, the analytical and the imagistic, and Latosik deftly balances these approaches and impulses. This poet is truly inventive, and what he offers us in Dreampad is a 'remixing' of this life as we know it, 'a clarifying/of the predicament.' Suddenly there is so much to learn, so much that poems—these poems—have to tell us." —Maggie Smith, author of Good Bones
"These leaping, associative poems move in 'spacetime,' where everything is simultaneiously connected and disconnected, and memory cuts in and out on a spotty signal. 'It's not that I have something to say,' writes Latosik, 'It's that an ailment made a voice.' And what a voice! Combining a big reach for liminal spaces with thrillingly precise description, his poems move nimbly between the ephemeral and the familiar, even when the bridge between them is shaking: '. . . reality . . . kept moving in and out of view . . ." he reminds us, '. . . as if stuck on one of those terrible hot-dog carousels.'" —Julie Bruck, author of Monkey Ranch