Sonja Ruth Greckol’s Monitoring Station enters a slipstream of space and planetary language, circling time, embodying loss and longing, generating and regenerating in a faltering climate. Orbiting through a mother’s death, a grandbaby’s birth, and a pandemic summer, these poems loop and fragment in expansive and empathetic ways. The title poem locates a settler voice revisiting Treaties 6 and 7 and the Métis lands of her Alberta childhood, while the overall collection is tethered to Toronto shadowed by northland prairie. Nimble, energetic, and challenging, the book engages a dense kind of poetic thinking about belonging and responsibility to people and place, within both recent history and far-flung cosmic realities. Falling squarely within a Canadian feminist experimental lyric trajectory, and grounded in bodily, personal, and political experience, Monitoring Station embodies the passage of a damaged world across generations.
About the author
SONJA GRECKOL began to write poetry when Mike Harris was re-elected in Ontario. Since, her work has appeared in Literary Review of Canada, Canadian Literature, Dalhousie Review, CV2, Canadian Women's Studies, Fiddlehead and Matrix. She coordinates poetry for Women and Environments International Magazine and has served as the Associate Rep representative on the National Council of the League of Canadian Poets (2006-08). She has taught college and university, studied order and disorder in jokes, done human rights and gender-based research and consulting, and does local activism while she writes. Her long poem, 'Emilie Explains Newton to Voltaire,' was short-listed for the CBC Poetry Prize in 2008.
“Sonja Greckol’s Monitoring Station is an enthralling exercise in intricating: the opposite, she explains, of extricating, thus ‘a verb meaning entangle or ensnare.’ What we find ourselves intricated with here—in propulsive, rippling, encircling syntax—is space and time, biological and cosmological origins, the pandemic and the human hash of colonialism and climate change. Under Greckol’s lyric microscope, ‘small things loom large’ and beauty is always a hair’s breadth from disaster. This is one of our very best poetic minds, humming along at the top of her form.” Stephen Collis, author of A History of the Theories of Rain
"An illuminated simmer of sweetness from a poet who invents vessels for language to carry us over into presence, into the before and the after, holding us to the now. But oh, the exquisite workings of the mind over what matters, the inescapable dailyness of bloodlines, and geography, interdimensional and relational; a theory of everything." Lillian Allen, dub poet, reggae musician, writer, Juno winner
"With the analytic mind of a statistician and the flow of a mystic, Sonja Greckol takes us into a chaotic, poetic fray as fraught near-pasts open out into possibilities. By tracing points, lines, and waves that situate a body (of a person, of a work) in all its specificities along with its imbricated activities that accumulate into (and rub against) structures, institutions, and systems, Greckol suggests ways towards futures in which social relations can be remade to accommodate more ethical interrelations among individuals and communities." Shannon Maguire, author of Myrmurs: An Exploded Sestina and Fur(l) Parachute