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Poetry Canadian

Fortified Castles

by (author) ryan fitzpatrick

Publisher
Talonbooks
Initial publish date
Sep 2014
Category
Canadian
  • Book

    ISBN
    9780889229099
    Publish Date
    Sep 2014
    List Price
    $16.95

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Description

Starting with lyric statement as a point of interrogation, Fortified Castles asks what might cause retreat into the comforting walls of the self. Moving from a tickertape tableau of economic and environmental crisis to the difficulty of finding one another in the streets, these poems locate the Western subject between the ramparts it walks and the barricades it throws up.

About the author

ryan fitzpatrick is the author of two books of poetry and fifteen chapbooks, including Fortified Castles (Talonbooks, 2014) and Fake Math (Snare/Invisible, 2007). With Jonathan Ball, he edited Why Poetry Sucks: An Anthology of Humorous Experimental Canadian Poetry (Insomniac, 2014). He has participated in the literary communities of Calgary, Vancouver, and Toronto. In Calgary, he was on the collective of filling Station magazine and was the organizer of the Flywheel Reading Series. In Vancouver, he earned his doctorate at Simon Fraser University, where he worked on contemporary Canadian poetry and space. In Toronto, he recently completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Toronto Scarborough and was a co-organizer of the East Loft Salon Series with Rajinderpal S. Pal and Nikki Sheppy.

ryan fitzpatrick's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“…at turns whimsical, earnest, ironic, and confounding – often within the same poem. It’s a pleasure to wind through its twists and blind alleys.”
this magazine

“a strikingly balanced work … fitzpatrick writes from within ego-centric spheres, enraptured with selfies and branded personalities—indeed, our own fortified castles – to create paratactic lyric collages … Though at times the text seems to mock this culture, there is a strong undercurrent of hope.”
Canadian Literature

“Darkly humorous and mockingly pedantic … Fitzpatrick also considers lyric poems themselves as fortifications, celebrating and safeguarding the sincere human voice. … Near the end, Fitzpatrick asks ‘How might we connect our cuffs?’—recognizing the ‘terrifying agency’ of sincerity – of meaning what we say – once we admit that we share grievances and complicities.”
Matrix

“…a blend of Calgary’s language-poetics and Vancouver’s social and political engagements … Through[out] Fortified Castles, fitzpatrick utilizes a kind of collage/cut-up method of accumulation to engage elements of the Occupy Movement, confusion, social interactions, financial anxieties, political uncertainties, ambiguous sentences and an endless series of phrases, consequences and histories, managing to capture an enormous amount of activity in such compact spaces. … Given some of the subject matter the book explores, keeping the reader slightly off-balance might be entirely the point. Given some of the subject matter, it would seem strange to attempt to craft poems that didn’t unsettle. Perhaps we should be far more unsettled than we are.”
– rob mclennan’s blog

“In Fortified Castles, our hero shakes down identities like a spike-filled log mashes down the meadow. In the fervour of a squint, fitzpatrick rakes the way for a honky-tonk revolution in a felt square to sip tonics of swell emotions much more dangerous than motorcycles. Fortified Castles simmers a deft cauldron of trend patrol – able to frack Kodak moments into bankrupt selfies and drain histories into broken presents. With sunshine enough to fill lonely bottles, fitzpatrick shoots a friendly neighbourhood spitball that props us up at the door of a room we live, long for, and long to leave, oh so thankful for its lock.”
– Chris Ewart, author of Miss Lamp

Fortified Castles is a book full of twists: a series of ambiguous manuals, a book-length personality quiz gone terribly awry. At first glance, characters seem self-assured – but don’t be fooled. Like Beckett’s talking heads, fitzpatrick’s playful voices point to a larger confusion. They look at us, baffled. They point and stare. They nod their heads and pat their stomachs. And then they ask, ever so politely: Who the hell are you?”
– Sandy Pool, author of Exploding into Night and Undark

“Fortified Castles is a book full of twists: a series of ambiguous manuals, a book-length personality quiz gone terribly awry. At first glance, characters seem self-assured – but don’t be fooled. Like Beckett’s talking heads, fitzpatrick’s playful voices point to a larger confusion. They look at us, baffled. They point and stare. They nod their heads and pat their stomachs. And then they ask, ever so politely: Who the hell are you?”
– Sandy Pool, author of Exploding into Night and Undark

“Darkly humorous and mockingly pedantic … Fitzpatrick also considers lyric poems themselves as fortifications, celebrating and safeguarding the sincere human voice. … Near the end, Fitzpatrick asks ‘How might we connect our cuffs?’—recognizing the ‘terrifying agency’ of sincerity – of meaning what we say – once we admit that we share grievances and complicities.”
Matrix

“…a blend of Calgary’s language-poetics and Vancouver’s social and political engagements … Through[out] Fortified Castles, fitzpatrick utilizes a kind of collage/cut-up method of accumulation to engage elements of the Occupy Movement, confusion, social interactions, financial anxieties, political uncertainties, ambiguous sentences and an endless series of phrases, consequences and histories, managing to capture an enormous amount of activity in such compact spaces. … Given some of the subject matter the book explores, keeping the reader slightly off-balance might be entirely the point. Given some of the subject matter, it would seem strange to attempt to craft poems that didn’t unsettle. Perhaps we should be far more unsettled than we are.”
– rob mclennan’s blog

“In Fortified Castles, our hero shakes down identities like a spike-filled log mashes down the meadow. In the fervour of a squint, fitzpatrick rakes the way for a honky-tonk revolution in a felt square to sip tonics of swell emotions much more dangerous than motorcycles. Fortified Castles simmers a deft cauldron of trend patrol – able to frack Kodak moments into bankrupt selfies and drain histories into broken presents. With sunshine enough to fill lonely bottles, fitzpatrick shoots a friendly neighbourhood spitball that props us up at the door of a room we live, long for, and long to leave, oh so thankful for its lock.”
– Chris Ewart, author of Miss Lamp

Other titles by ryan fitzpatrick

Coast Mountain Foot

by (author) ryan fitzpatrick

Why Poetry Sucks

Humorous Avant-Garde and Post-Avant English Canadian Poetry

edited by Jonathan Ball & ryan fitzpatrick

Writing the Terrain

Travelling Through Alberta with the Poets

contributions by Ian Adam, Robert Stamp, Tammy Armstrong, Margaret Avison, Douglas Barbour, John O. Barton, Doug Beardsley, Bonnie Bishop, E.D. Blodgett, Robert Boates, George Bowering, Tim Bowling, Jan Boydol, Gordon Burles, Murdoch Burnett, Anne Campbell, Weyman Chan, Leonard Cohen, Dennis Cooley, Joan Crate, Michael Cullen, Cyril Dabydeen, Lorne Daniel, Alexa DeWiel, Jason Dewinetz, ryan fitzpatrick, Cecelia Frey, Gary Geddes, Gail Ghai, Deborah Godin, Jim Green, Leslie Greentree, Vivian Hansen, Tom Henihan, Michael Henry, Walter Hildebrandt, Gerald Hill, Robert Hilles, Nancy Holmes, Richard Hornsey, Tom Howe, Aislinn Hunter, Bruce Hunter, Laurence Hutchman, Sally Ito, Pauline Johnson, Aleksei Kazuk, Robert Kroetsch, Fiona Lam, William Latta, Tim Lilburn, Alice Major, Kim Maltman, Miriam Mandel, Sid Marty, David McFadden, Barry McKinnon, Erin Michie, Deborah Miller, Anna Mioduchowska, James M. Moir, Colin Morton, Erín Moure, Charles Noble, P.K. Page, Rajinderpal Pal, Ruth Roach Pierson, Joseph Pivato, Roberta Rees, D.C. Reid, Monty Reid, R. rickey, Ken Rivard, Stephen Scobie, Allan Serafino, Joan Shillington, Greg Simison, Carol Ann Sokoloff, Karen Solie, Stephan Stephansson, Peter Stevens, Ivan Sundal, Anne Swannell, Vanna Tessier, Colleen Thibadeau, John O. Thompson, James M. Thurgood, Eva Tihanyi, Yvonne Trainer, Aritha Van Herk, Rosalee van Stelten, Miriam Waddington, James Wreford Watson, Wilfred Watson, Tom Wayman, Phyllis Webb, Jon Whyte, Christine Wiesenthal, Sheri-D Wilson, Christopher Wiseman, Stacie Wolfer, Rita Wong, Richard Woollatt & Jan Zwicky