In the pages of Gary Barwin's latest collection of poetry, No TV for Woodpeckers, the lines between haunting and hilarious, wondrous and weird, beautiful and beastly, are blurred in the most satisfying ways. No stranger to poetic experimentation, Barwin employs a range of techniques from the lyrical to the conceptual in order to explore loss, mortality, family, the self and our relationship to the natural world.
Many of these poems reveal a submerged reality full of forgotten, unknown or invisible life forms that surround us?that are us. Within this reality, Barwin explores the connection between bodies, language, culture and the environment. He reveals how we construct both self and reality through these relationships and also considers the human in relation to the concepts of "nature" and "the animal."
As philosophical as it is entertaining?weaving together threads of surrealism, ecopoetics, Dada and more?No TV for Woodpeckers is a complex and multi-layered work that offers an unexpected range of pleasures.
Gary Barwin is a writer, composer, multimedia artist and the author of twenty books of poetry, fiction and books for children. His recent books include Yiddish for Pirates and the poetry collection Moon Baboon Canoe. A PhD in music composition, Barwin has been Writer-in-Residence at Western University, the Toronto Public Library and several shelters/custody facilities with ArtForms' Writers in the House program for at-risk youth. Born in Northern Ireland to South African parents of Ashkenazi descent, Barwin moved to Canada as a child. He lives in Hamilton, Ontario.