In Motel of the Opposable Thumbs, Stuart Ross continues to ignore trends in Canadian poetry, and further follow the journey he began over four decades ago with his discoveries of the works of Stephen Crane, E. E. Cummings, Nelson Ball, Ron Padgett, Victor Coleman, Tom Clark, Nicanor Parra, Joe Rosenblatt, and David McFadden. Over the years, his influences have snowballed: Lisa Jarnot, Alice Burdick, Richard Huttel, Opal Louis Nations, Joanne Kyger, Bill Knott, Max Jacob, Larry Fagin, Heather Christle, Charles North, Emily Petit, Paul Guest, James Tate, Valéry Larbaud, Joe Brainard, Matthew Zapruder, Harryette Mullen, Dara Wier, Dag T. Straumsvåg, Mark Strand, Wislawa Szymborska, Mary Ruefle, John Ashbery, Sommer Browning, Jim Smith, Benjamin Peret, Renee Gladman, and more. In this eclectic, pleasurable gathering of poems and sequences, Mr. Ross unapologetically leaps from howls of grief and despair to zany incursions into surrealism and the absurd. He embraces this panoply of approaches to respond to our cantankerous existential dilemma. All that, and it's structured after Bela Bartók's String Quartet No. 4! Get a room and enjoy.
Stuart Ross is a writer, editor, writing teacher, and small press activist living in Cobourg, Ontario. He is the award-winning author of 20 books of poetry, fiction, and essays, most recently Pockets (ECW Press, 2017), A Sparrow Came Down Resplendent (Wolsak and Wynn, 2016), and A Hamburger in a Gallery (DC Books, 2015). Stuart has taught workshops in elementary and high schools across the country, and was the 2010 Writer-in-Residence at Queen's University. Visiting schools and working with students of all ages is his favourite part of his writing practice. Stuart is at work writing nearly a dozen different poetry, non-fiction, and fiction manuscripts.