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Poetry Canadian


by (author) Jeff Derksen

Initial publish date
Jan 1994
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jan 1994
    List Price

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A long poem that blends and bends the lyric, procedural poetry, the travelogue and extended forms, Dwell lives in, or dwells on, the interaction of a restless subjectivity with the seemingly transparent, yet identifiable, social codes that encase us.

About the author

Jeff Derksen
Jeff Derksen’s poetry and critical writing on art, urbanism and text have been published in Europe and North America. He collaborates on visual art and research projects (focusing on urban issues) with the research collective Urban Subjects. Derksen’s Down Time won the 1991 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Award, at the BC Book Prizes.

Jeff Derksen's profile page


  • Short-listed, Alberta Writer's Guild Award

Editorial Reviews

Dwell provides just the right kind of fin de siècle topo map required to reconnoiter our present bearings. Derksen’s accurate delineation of narrative edge coloured by layers of diction’s own superfluousness is a rare and honest measure of a world that’s signed out. In language that’s resolute in its probe for meaningful coordinates, these poems ‘fulfill’ their own codes, absorb ‘all (our) private space.’ We’ll never get home without them.” – Fred Wah

Dwell is a compassionate and humane book, the product (nice package) of a personality engaged in analysis of meaning-making. And I feel I’ve been reading the presence of a life in its pages … a breathing friction. It’s like listening to music in its privileging of experience over knowledge.” – Prairie Fire

“As Jeff Derksen approaches family and personal life, at home and abroad, his work comes down to earth, becomes more serious, more analytical, optimistic, precise, and fragile. The word tour economic; a life’s work, critique, focus, attending to, listening a living, an expression of insolitude among domestic monuments and affairs of state.” – Melanie Neilson

Other titles by Jeff Derksen