Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Poetry Canadian

Signal Fires

by (author) Christopher Dewdney

McClelland & Stewart
Initial publish date
May 2000
Canadian, General, Nature
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2000
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it


Christopher Dewdney’s love for the landscape and the flora and fauna of southwestern Ontario has provoked some of the most gorgeously erotic prose ever to appear in this country. From that love, augmented by ardent research in the field, emerges a marvellously compelling, futuristic vision of time and space collapsed into near-simultaneity. Books IV and V of The Natural History of Southwestern Ontario, presented in Signal Fires, are self-contained sections of a continuing prose poem deeply satisfying in its density. The New-Old World of this long poem, written over a fifteen-year period, is sensuously and conceptually so immediate that orgasm and epiphany are one in it. This is writing, and reading, as immersion. Accompanying the natural histories in Signal Fires are poems with a different but equally involving music, lyrics of loss and redemption in which human relationships are central.

About the author

Christopher Dewdney has served as writer-in-residence at Trent, Western, and York universities. Featured in Ron Mann’s film Poetry in Motion with William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Michael Ondaatje, and Tom Waits, Dewdney has presented his groundbreaking poetics across North America and Europe. He also creates acoustic and visual art, along with incisive arts commentary for print, radio, and television.

Karl E. Jirgens, head of the Department of English at the University of Windsor, has taught at the universities of Toronto, York, Guelph, and Laurentian. Since 1979, he has served as editor-in-chief of Rampike, a critically acclaimed international journal of art and writing. Jirgens’s fiction, performance works, poetry, and scholarly articles are published worldwide.

Christopher Dewdney's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“These poems have a haunting, stately quality: they truly suggest the ‘mystery/of everything’ as manifested in the act of love.”
Globe and Mail
“Dewdney has undergone a transformation; his poetry has taken on greater humanity and been touched by love, while still in touch with the gods.”
Quill & Quire
“[His] poems have a painful, visceral quality to them that rasps against the cerebral and genteel aspects of their presentation. They are about the redemption of human misery magnified to the highest power.”
Eye Magazine
“[He has] fashioned a body of work that is original, challenging, witty, stylistically versatile, and remarkably cohesive.”
Books in Canada

Other titles by Christopher Dewdney