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Poetry Canadian

Masses on Radar

by (author) David O’Meara

Coach House Books
Initial publish date
Sep 2021
Canadian, General, Death
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2021
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2021
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Words like radio waves, bouncing off the spectres of mortality, middle age, and the mundane.

Arriving at middle age was a decisive experience for David O’Meara, standing equidistant to the past and future with its accompanying doubts and anticipations, inviting re-evaluation of past goals, confronting personal loss, and the death of his father and friends. These are the masses on radar, indistinct but detectable existential presences encroaching, and in the center of the radar is the lyric 'I' sweeping its adjacent experience. Poems like "I Carry a Mouse to the Park Beside the Highway," "I Keep One Eye Open and One Eye Closed," and "I Sleep as the Volcano Ash Falls like Snow,” usher the reader through thematic corridors of memory, fracture, and recovery. Embracing uncertainty and incorporating seasonal forecasts, humour, trivia, satire, politics, the environment, loss, and the mundane, these poems are a detection system signaling a paradox of meanings.

About the author

David O’Meara is the author of four previous collections of poetry, most recently A Pretty Sight (Coach House Books, 2013). He is the Director of the Plan 99 Reading Series, and was the founding Artistic Director for VERSeFest (Canada’s International Poetry Festival). A past winner of the Archibald Lampman Prize and the Ottawa Book Award, David was recently the Poet-in-Residence for Arc Poetry Magazine and served as a faculty member at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. He lives in Ottawa, Canada where he tends bar.

David O’Meara's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"O’Meara writes on his immediate, blending the external with more philosophical concerns, composing a lyric that seeks an order through the chaos and noise, seeking solace in putting each possibility into its place." –rob mclennan

" O’Meara deftly weaves language into a tapestry of shifting registers and crystalline images while paying tribute to the dead – poet Elise Partridge, O’Meara’s own father – while casting a wary eye on our nervous future. He’s also almost painfully funny." –Steven W. Beattie, Quill & Quire Best Books of 2021

"[O'Meara] brings a whimsical irony and witty figurative language to “the pantomime of normal,” as he reflects on household chores, anxieties about money and being stuck in traffic, which represents a longing to escape the way life is (“I’m just shoulder-checking for an exit”)." –The Toronto Star

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