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Art Essays

Malleable Forms

Selected Essays

by (author) Meeka Walsh

Arbeiter Ring Publishing Ltd.
Initial publish date
Apr 2022
Essays, Criticism & Theory
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2022
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Mar 2022
    List Price
  • Downloadable audio file

    Publish Date
    Nov 2023
    List Price

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"Walsh's writings are stunning examples of how to look, how to feel, how to see."

For 30 years Meeka Walsh has been the Editor of the Canadian art magazine, Border Crossings A selection of her much-admired essays published in each issue of that magazine have been selected for this substantial book.

Noted international critic and art writer, Barry Schwabsky, has written an introductory essay. The persistent engagement of memory winds through the book and resonant is EM Forster's dictum, "Only connect." Walsh makes her particular kind of connections throughout.


"With this collection of forty-seven pieces on literature, painting, photography, music, and a multitude of other fascinations, hauntings, and obsessions, Meeka Walsh stakes out a position as one of today's most omnivorous and original lyric-essayists. Her restless polymathic mind leaps from one artist and discipline to another in always-unlikely permutations of inquiry and engagement. Her curiosity operates within a complicated architecture of deeply felt personal experience, while her vivid inhabitation of myths built-in her earliest childhood explains her relationship to the world and art. Her work is airborne, bearing aloft Robert Frank, Walter Benjamin, Fleur Jaeggy, Clarice Lispector, Rilke, and Caravaggio on flights that never fail to nail their landings. Walsh's departed parents and grandparents and her beloved ghosts of the diaspora are never far from her thoughts. She bounces her reactions off those who came before, off the people and places who made her. In line after line, page after page, piece after piece, she makes us realize we are all writing our own artful autobiographies. She is a writer in mad, mad love with art. I love this book!" ” Guy Maddin

"Although all of the pieces in Malleable Forms circle around books, movies, pieces of music, and works of art, Meeka Walsh strikes me less as a critic than as an ideal reader of things. It's a quality she shares with some of the philosopher-artists whose works haunt this book, who she returns to over and over again. As a "reader," Walsh makes the most astonishing connections between contemporary art, the 20th-century modernist canon, and the small and incredibly rich daily things she observes. Although she travels a lot, her writings are beautifully grounded in her experience as a life-long resident of provincial and landlocked icy Winnipeg. Through her eyes, the Canadian prairie comes into breathtaking focus. Stories of exile, Judaism, immigration, and forgotten injustices wrought throughout Canadian history are never far away. Collapsing the boundaries between "criticism" and "the personal essay," Walsh's writings are stunning examples of how to look, how to feel, how to see." — Chris Kraus


About the author

Meeka Walsh is a Winnipeg-based writer, critic and editor whose stories have appeared in Descant, The Malahat Review, Canadian Fiction Magazine and Prairie Fire. Since 1993 she has edited Border Crossings, an international arts magazine published in Winnipeg. She has received seven nominations for her writing at the Western and National Magazine Awards and has won two gold medals.

Walsh is also a member of the Canadian Artist's and Producer's Professional Relations Tribunal for the Status of the Artist. In 2003 she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Western Magazine Awards Foundation and in 2007 she received a medal from the RCA for her contribution to visual art in Canada. The Garden of Earthly Intimacies is her first book of fiction.

Meeka Walsh's profile page

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