PUBLIC WORKS is poet Ronna Bloom's third collection of poetry. In it, several themes emerge:1. The private experience of the public (the idea that everything we experience -- a book, a speech, a hospital, a religion, water running into the taps -- we experience privately);2. The public role of the poet (as in Ginsberg's lines: "While I'm here,I'll do the work/and what's the work?/To ease the pain of living"); and3. The placement of the individual in a wider context (the places we findourselves inhabiting: a body, a house, a job, a memory, as in the common phrase on maps in shopping malls: "You Are Here".) || Some poems address overlapping themes: physical location in a body, astreet, a city; and recognition of one's own response to the institutions or services found there. Bloom is interested in the way individuals move back and forth between and within the public/private landscape. These poems, moving through personal, physical and social realms, chart the uneven, uncertain trajectory of a life.
About the authors
RONNA BLOOM is the author of four books of poetry, most recently, Permiso (Pedlar Press, 2009), shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Award. Her poems have been translated into Spanish and Bengali and broadcast on CBC Radio. Her work appeared in "Poetry is Public is Poetry," an initiative of Toronto Poet Laureate Dionne Brand, which showcases and celebrates the work of Canadian poets to help transform Toronto's public realm into a forum for the written word. Bloom works as a writing teacher and psychotherapist. She has led workshops across Canada and abroad, and currently is Poet in Community at the University of Toronto. www.ronnabloom.com
Beth Follett is the founder and publisher of Pedlar Press, a Canadian literary house. Her first novel, Tell it Slant (Coach House Books, 2001), a retelling of Djuna Barnes’s 1936 novel Nightwood, met with critical acclaim. Her poetry, prose and nonfiction work have appeared in Brick, Best Canadian Poetry 2019, and elsewhere. She lives in St John’s, NL.