Rainbow Stage-Manchuria, Steve Noyes’s fifth collection, sees him return to the long poem twice over, displaying his range and inventiveness. “Rainbow Stage” presents a 1973 rock concert in real time by the psychedelic Winnipeg band The Next. This sly mélange of panoramic action, wicked lyrics and deft character sketches is a broad wink at the conventions of rock and the silly cosmologies of the seventies. Daydream and raise your Bic lighters along with The Next as they ask, Where does childhood end? “Manchuria” is a long, sarcastic lament by an exiled woman in Northern China who explores the possibilities of alternative histories. “Manchuria” is sweet and sad, a testimony for our age on the scarring of a voice by time. And a third section, “The Marais,” brings together Noyes’s shorter riffs on dystopias, medical policy, raptors, and the dramas of human and family frailty. Rainbow Stage-Manchuria, with its layers of play, is nothing short of a world.
About the author
Steve Noyes has published six books of poetry and fiction. In Ghost Country, he also explored the distances to China; in Morbidity and Ornament, he mixed his formal, tight poems in Chinese with his manic narrative English poems. It is Just That Your House is So Far Away is his first novel. Raised in Winnipeg, Noyes is a graduate of UBC’s MFA Writing program and Carleton’s journalism school, and has published over 100 poems, stories and reviews in such magazines and newspapers as The Malahat Review, The Fiddlehead, Event, The Globe and Mail, Queen’s Quarterly, and the Vancouver Sun. He has worked as Foreign Expert, policy analyst, parking-lot attendant, disabilities advocate, sessional lecturer, correspondence writer, plywood mill labourer, and editor. Over the past decade, Noyes has has travelled extensively across China, and worked and studied in Beijing, Shanghai, Taibei, Qingdao, and a little town north of Beijing. He is married to the poet Catherine Greenwood, and currently makes his home in Victoria where he works for the Ministry of Health.