There is the heartbreak tied to human love and there is heartbreak that points to notions of the divine. The poems in Suzanne Buffam's debut collection, Past Imperfect, enter the darkness of both -- at times simultaneously -- giving utterance to the breakage and shards of weak light found therein. Employing humour and directness to equal effect, Past Imperfect admits the self is fluid; so we wave farewell to many selves.
These are poems of great intensity, driven by intelligence, tracing the barely knowable contours of a soul-in-progress. In a voice as confident, elegant, and vivid as it is brimming with doubt, Past Imperfect employs recurrent images like echoes or quiet obsessions. These become totems of absence, of presence, of the potential other, or simply, of the world as it is: breathtakingly beautiful, refusing to minister to our solitude.
SUZANNE BUFFAM’s first collection of poetry, Past Imperfect, won the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award for Poetry and was named a Book of the Year by the Globe and Mail. Her second collection of poetry, The Irrationalist, was a finalist for the Griffin Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in international anthologies and publications, including Poetry, Jubilat, Denver Quarterly, Colorado Review, Books in Canada, and Breathing Fire: Canada’s New Poets; her poetry has been translated into French, German, Spanish, and Slovenian. She lives in Chicago.