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9780864929525_cover Enlarge Cover
5 of 5
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list price: $11.99
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
category: Poetry
published: March 2017
ISBN:9780864929525
imprint: Icehouse Poetry

Otolith

by Emily Nilsen

reviews: 1
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canadian, women authors, nature
5 of 5
1 rating
rated!
rated!
list price: $11.99
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
category: Poetry
published: March 2017
ISBN:9780864929525
imprint: Icehouse Poetry
Description

Winner, 2018 League of Canadian Poets Gerald Lampert Memorial Award

Longlisted, 2018 League of Canadian Poets Pat Lowther Memorial Award

Otolith — the ear stone — is a series of bones that help us to orient ourselves in space. In Otolith, Emily Nilsen attempts a similar feat in poetry: to turn the reader's attention to their relationship to the world, revealing an intertidal state between the rootedness of place and the uncertainty and tenuousness of human connection. Born in the fecundity of British Columbia's coastal rainforest, these poems are full of life and decay; they carry the odours of salmon rivers and forests of fir; salal growing in the fog-bound mountain slopes.

This astonishing debut, at once spare and lush, displays an exquisite lyricism built on musical lines and mature restraint. Nilsen turns over each idea carefully, letting nothing escape her attention and saying no more than must be said. Combining a scientist's precision and a poet's sensitivity, Otolith examines the ache of nostalgia in the relentless passage of time.

About the Author
Emily Nilsen was born and raised in Vancouver. She has published poems in PRISM International, Lake, and the Goose, and in a chapbook entitled Place, No Manual. Nilsen was a finalist for the CBC Poetry Prize in 2015, after have been longlisted for the prize on three separate occasions. Her work has also been longlisted for the UK National Poetry Prize. She lives in Nelson, British Columbia.
Author profile page >
Awards
  • Winner, League of Canadian Poets Gerald Lampert Memorial Award
  • Long-listed, League of Canadian Poets Pat Lowther Memorial Award
Editorial Reviews

"Spend enough time at a remote research station, suggests Emily Nilsen, and you, too, will identify fifty different species of fog. In Otolith, Nilsen’s poems measure all that environmental science cannot: the alignment of a tree planter’s sensibility to charred forest, the geolocation of grief. Wake before dawn and follow Nilsen’s ‘solitary, rugged route’ into our fragile ecology."

— Sonnet L'Abbé

"Otolith challenges the idea that madness is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results. With metaphors and imagery as wild as the ecologies she encounters, Emily Nilsen shows that repeating the same question can yield multiple answers: Otolith’s world is not static, won’t hold still for its photograph, doesn’t sit pretty. And this is its virtue."

— Sue Sinclair

"Otolith is a house built by gravity and movement, at once weighty and ephemeral. These poems are fogged in and present, placed and displaced. Nilsen is a poet of the interstitial, of longing, of the sensitive shift itself."

— Matt Rader

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Reader Reviews

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Excellent and beautiful Collection

In Otolith the poems by Emily Nilsen hit you subtly with earthy notes and a keen observation of the tension between nature and humankind. An otolith is an ear stone that can aid us in finding ourselves in space. As life often is an uneasy journey of finding ourselves, these poems can act like the very otolith itself, helping you to find some balance within your own life.

The unlikely parallels and emotions that exist in Nilsen’s writing makes even the most mundane of things appear in a way that seems magic. “Empathize with viruses, like most of us, they fight to survive” Nilsen writes in “Meanwhile.” The quiet attention given to small details of people living in and amongst nature jumps out from every page. In this self-reflective collection, written about Nilsen’s time spent writing her first novel while living in the British Columbian wilderness, we see the clashing and tension of these two worlds. The past, the future, the supernatural and the hidden frequencies of life are all examined through the microscope of her words. Words bear powerful witness to meditations on humanity and the plastic bits that surround us. Can we co-exist? Or will there always be a sharp contrast that binds us?

These poems help you not feel so alone in the world as you become alive with self-recognition. The words are cozy and comforting with strong pangs of comprehension within the human condition of loneliness and the realization that you are not the only one who feels a certain way. Nilsen’s observations are both haunting and surreal. The human nature of comparing and contrasting with others comes in silent pangs of revelation and recognition among the pages.

The white spaces in the books are necessary, providing room to breathe, grieve and reflect on Nilsen’s beautiful words.

A stunning collection.

Otolith

Posted on : http://atlanticbookstoday.ca/otolith-the-tension-between-nature-and-humankind/

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