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Poetry Canadian

Going Home

by (author) Ken Norris

Publisher
Talonbooks
Initial publish date
Nov 2007
Category
Canadian
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9780889225732
    Publish Date
    Nov 2007
    List Price
    $18.95

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Description

If, as Robert Creeley said, “form is never more than an extension of content,” what happens when we lose form” Does content retreat into its ruins, its absences” Can we never go home because it retreats from us as relentlessly and unfathomably as our future” Is the imagination of “our” future as illusory and unreliable as the memory of “our” past” If, for the young man, “going home is the first defeat,” the first violation of a burgeoning autonomy, is the very imagination of “home” an abrogation, a transgression” These are the questions that the deceptively simple lyrics of this book ask, that we encounter as we navigate our way, “room to room” through their stanzas—from the poet’s New York childhood, his Montreal mentorship with Louis Dudek, to his volitionary adoptive “home” of Asia. The world changes in Going Home—9/11 happens. In that singular, extended historic moment all of our working models of representation on our North American Island turn to paper and dust, and now we know history always had other plans for us. The whole manufactured unreality of our world falls away in these poems, leads us both toward and away from being “at home” in the moment. “We’re all here and not here,” the poet reminds us: an index of time and the true nature of existence—a present impermanence.

About the author

Ken Norris was born in New York City in 1951. He emigrated to Canada in the early seventies, where he quickly became one of the infamous Vehicule Poets, essential in helping to develop and maintain a particular style of Anglo-poetry in Montreal.

 

One of Canada’s most prolific poets, Ken Norris has always given his readers subtly capricious and edgy poetry that reveals unanticipated possibilities and explores new horizons. He is the author of two dozen books and chapbooks of poetry, and is the editor of eight anthologies of poetry and poetics. His work has been widely anthologized in Canada and throughout the English-speaking world, as well as published in translation in France, Belgium, Israel and China. Quebec poet Pierre Des Ruisseaux has translated two of his books into French, La route des limbes (Limbo Road, Écrits des Forges) and Hotel Montréal (Éditions du Noroît).

 

Norris teaches Canadian literature and creative writing at the University of Maine. He divides his time between Canada, the United States and Asia.

 

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