With Here, award-winning poet Colin Browne offers a book of luminous encounters, contradictions, collisions, and meditations on art, nature, justice, historical memory, and territorial occupation. Browne’s texts mine the harrowing destinies and densities of place – in this case, of the North American Northwest Coast. The work’s seven movements are tuned to the autobiographical, alert to rhythm and improvisation, and immersed in an ambience of memory and tenderness.
Here is a book for the ear, its compositional model borrowed from jazz improvisation; by locating a rhythm or a melodic line, and opening the field to associations, visions, rhymes, chance, interruption, and grace, the texts summon and assemble themselves. "Art does not render the visible, but renders visible," said Paul Klee. Why are we aching so? Where are the words and melodies that will heal us?
Here is also a book of voices, infused with the eros of intertextuality: Apollinaire, whose spirit presides over these pages, along with Antonin Artaud, André Breton, Robert Burton, Louis Clexlixqen, Henry Edenshaw, Frantz Fanon, Sa7plek (Chief Joe Capilano), Gwendolyn MacEwen, Charles Olson, Pablo Picasso, Dorothy Jean Ray, Raymond Roussel, Gertrude Stein, Henry David Thoreau, and Walt Whitman. Included are Browne’s translations of early modernist poems by Apollinaire and Cendrars citing Vancouver, which in the early decades of the twentieth century captured the imagination of Parisian artists and poets.
Colin Browne has published five volumes of poetry. His most recent publications are Entering Time: The Fungus Man Platters of Charles Edenshaw (Talonbooks, 2016) and The Hatch: Poems and Conversations (Talonbooks, 2015). His books have been nominated for a Governor General’s Award and the Dorothy Livesay Award / B.C. Poetry Prize. He is a celebrated filmmaker; his experimental documentary White Lake was nominated for a Genie Award for Best Feature Documentary. His recent exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery, I Had an Interesting French Artist to See Me This Summer: Emily Carr and Wolfgang Paalen in British Columbia (2016), explored the brief encounter between these two Modernist artists in Victoria, B.C., in August 1939, and presented the first extensive exhibition of Paalen’s work in Canada. His collaboration with composer Alfredo Santa Ana, Music for a Night in May, was presented at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre in May 2018. Recent essays exploring the links between Surrealism and the art of the Northwest Coast have appeared in exhibition catalogues in the U.S. and Europe. He is currently working on new curatorial projects and preparing a collection of essays for publication. Until recently, he taught in the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, where he is Professor Emeritus.