Since his first book, The Mood Embosser, was published in 2001, Louis Cabri has established himself as a one of the most distinctive, and entertaining, poets in Canada. Steeped in the transformative poetics of the post-New American Poetry world of L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, Cabri has followed that impulse into a fresh terrain that is simultaneously familiar and disorientingly strange. Hungry Slingshots, Cabri's fourth book-length work, extends his explorations into language / sensibility / intelligibility, and into the sheer sound (and silence) of the line to produce a suite of poems that return a picquant critique of the excess that stands in for contemporary normality.
Original, in the original sense of the word (i.e., returning to the earliest examples of something), Cabri’s recent work opens up the the resonating chambers of constraints imposed by poetry conventions --- most noticeably in the title sequence, “Hungry Sling Shots”, which hearkens to the French 17th century civil war and the widespread use of the triolet form --- to make our oldest literary genre vibrate in new ways and in unexpectedly contemporary directions.
Predominant in Cabri’s approach to the page is his consciousness of poetry as being, at its most satisfyingly salient, sound. For Cabri, more than most poets working today, meaning is all about how it sounds. In a live reading, his intonations work like the squeaks and farts of a perfectly tuned saxophone in the mouth and hands of a jazz musician. Could Louis Cabri be the Albert Ayler of contemporary poetry?
Louis Cabri has said about his work, “Fiction and non-fiction, more often than not, represent perceptions. Poetry involves more than representing perceptions. .. . Poetry speaks to the mechanics of perception."
About the author
Louis Cabri is author of The Mood Embosser, which was awarded the 2002 book of the year by Small Press Traffic (San Francisco), and â??that canâ??t (forthcoming). He edited, from Philadelphia, the poetsâ?? newsletter PhillyTalks and co-edited, from Ottawa/Calgary, hole magazine and books. He teaches literary theory, Canadian and US modern and contemporary poetry, and creative writing at the University of Windsor.
Fred Wah has been involved with a number of literary magazines over the years, such as Open Letter and West Coast Line. Recent books are the biofiction Diamond Grill (1996), Faking It: Poetics and Hybridity (2000), a collection of essays, and Sentenced to Light (2008), a collection of poetic image/text projects. He splits his time between the Kootenays in southeastern B.C. and Vancouver.