In Dionne Brand’s incantatory, deeply engaged, beautifully crafted long poem, the question is asked, What would an inventory of the tumultuous early years of this new century have to account for? Alert to the upheavals that mark those years, Brand bears powerful witness to the seemingly unending wars, the ascendance of fundamentalisms, the nameless casualties that bloom out from near and distant streets. An inventory in form and substance, Brand’s poem reckons with the revolutionary songs left to fragment, the postmodern cities drowned and blistering, the devastation flickering across TV screens grown rhythmic and predictable. Inventory is an urgent and burning lamentation.
Dionne Brand is a poet and novelist living in Toronto. Her nine volumes of poetry include Land to Light On, winner of the Governor General’s Award and the Trillium Book Award in 1997; thirsty, winner of the Pat Lowther Memorial Award and a finalist for the Trillium Book Award and the Griffin Poetry Prize; and, most recently, Inventory, a finalist for the Governor General’s Award. Dionne Brand’s most recent novel, What We All Long For, was published to great acclaim in Canada and Italy in 2005, and won the Toronto Book Award. In 2006, she was awarded the Harbourfront Festival Prize.
“Inventory is damning without being superior, sorrowful without falling into self-pity, joyful without becoming naive. . . . Thought-provoking. . . .What makes Inventory even more powerful, and hard to put down, is Brand’s willingness to match the strength of these desolate lists with a strength of music, dream and intimate feeling.”
— Globe and Mail
“You don’t read Dionne Brand, you hear her.”
— Toronto Life