Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Poetry Canadian

Swimming Ginger

by (author) Gary Geddes

Publisher
Goose Lane Editions
Initial publish date
Aug 2010
Category
Canadian
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9780864926265
    Publish Date
    Aug 2010
    List Price
    $17.95
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9780864927309
    Publish Date
    Apr 2012
    List Price
    $17.95

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it

Description

Shortlisted, Independent Publishers Book Award, Poetry

The Qingming Shanghe Tu scroll, sometimes called "Spring Festival by the River," was thought to have been painted by Zhang Zeduan before 1127, when the Northern Song capital of Bian-Iiang was overrun by the invading Jin. Inspired by the figures in the scroll, Geddes found stories demanding to be told, tales of the droll, exacting, sometimes turbulent life of cities.

In shimmering verse, Geddes captures the voice of the painter himself and those of the underprivileged, with their not-so-subtle forms of dissent. Cleverly illustrated to intertwine East and West in dialogue, this ingenious volume juxtaposes a reproduction of the scroll that reads from back to front (experienced as Chinese reads) with Geddes' poems, which read from front to back.

About the author

Gary Geddes was born in Vancouver and raised mostly on the west coast, where he gill netted, loaded boxcars at BC Sugar Refinery, stocked shelves at Woodwards, worked as a fishing guide at Whytecliffe, taught on Texada Island, and drove water-taxi. After doing graduate studies at Reading University in England and at the University of Toronto, he embarked on a varied career as a writer, teacher, editor, and publisher. Gary taught for twenty years at Concordia University in Montreal before returning to the west coast, where he was appointed Distinguished Professor of Canadian Culture at Western Washington University (1998-2001) and served as writer-in-residence at Green College (UBC), and the Vancouver Public Library. He has written and edited more than thirty-five books of poetry, fiction, drama, non-fiction, criticism, translation and anthologies, including 20th Century Poetry & Poetics and 15 Canadian Poets Times 3. His literary awards include the E.J. Pratt Medal and Prize (1970), the National Poetry Prize (1981), the Americas Best Book Award in the 1985 Commonwealth Poetry Competition, National Magazine Gold Award (1987), the Writers Choice Award (1988), Archibald Lampman Prize (1990 and 1996), the Poetry Book Society Recommendation (1996) and the Gabriela Mistral Prize (1996), which he shared with Nobel laureates Octavio Paz and Vaclav Havel and with Rafael Alberti, Ernesto Cardenal, and Mario Benedetti. Gary Geddes lives on Vancouver Island, where he divides his time between Victoria and French Beach.

Gary Geddes' profile page

Awards

  • Runner-up, Independent Publishers Book Award, Poetry

Editorial Reviews

"The book is, as Geddes himself puts it, 'rescue work,' an attempt to recover, reconstruct and reawaken a lost time, fill it with so unique a blend of voices that it will emerge as something new. Each poem crackles with their thoughts and impressions, sometimes contradictory, always entertaining."

<i>Canadian Bookseller</i>

"Geddes's; accessible poetic style brings to life a rich array of characters inspired by a blend of history, culture, myth, and imagination. ... his two most recent collections offer the reader a point of entry into the inner workings of old China by bringing to life a thronging diversity of voices tinged with both creativity and lore. ... Swimming Ginger reanimates one of China's most iconic artifacts and infuses it with irreverence, gently poking fun at the fantasies of ancient Chinese culture that we might otherwise be wont to adopt. In answer to such fantasies, Geddes creates an earthy, vibrant, and altogether more pragmatic account of lives lived in twelfth-century China."

<i>Canadian Literature</i>

"Geddes rolls out his own richly hued tapestry of human passions and pastimes. His poems flow with a fluid, conversational ease, and encompass a wide range of personalities and tone."

<i>Toronto Star</i>

Other titles by Gary Geddes

The Oysters I Bring to Banquets

by (author) Gary Geddes

Resumption of Play, The

by (author) Gary Geddes

70 Canadian Poets

edited by Gary Geddes

Kingdom Of Ten Thousand Things

An Impossible Journey From Kabul to Chiapas

by (author) Gary Geddes

Drink the Bitter Root

A Writer's Search for Justice and Redemption in Africa

by (author) Gary Geddes

Sailing Home

A Journey Through Time, Place, and Memory

by (author) Gary Geddes

The Terracotta Army

by (author) Gary Geddes

Falsework

by (author) Gary Geddes

20th-Century Poetry and Poetics

edited by Gary Geddes

Writing the Terrain

Travelling Through Alberta with the Poets

contributions by Ian Adam, Robert Stamp, Tammy Armstrong, Margaret Avison, Douglas Barbour, John O. Barton, Doug Beardsley, Bonnie Bishop, E.D. Blodgett, Robert Boates, George Bowering, Tim Bowling, Jan Boydol, Gordon Burles, Murdoch Burnett, Anne Campbell, Weyman Chan, Leonard Cohen, Dennis Cooley, Joan Crate, Michael Cullen, Cyril Dabydeen, Lorne Daniel, Alexa DeWiel, Jason Dewinetz, ryan fitzpatrick, Cecelia Frey, Gary Geddes, Gail Ghai, Deborah Godin, Jim Green, Leslie Greentree, Vivian Hansen, Tom Henihan, Michael Henry, Walter Hildebrandt, Gerald Hill, Robert Hilles, Nancy Holmes, Richard Hornsey, Tom Howe, Aislinn Hunter, Bruce Hunter, Laurence Hutchman, Sally Ito, Pauline Johnson, Aleksei Kazuk, Robert Kroetsch, Fiona Lam, William Latta, Tim Lilburn, Alice Major, Kim Maltman, Miriam Mandel, Sid Marty, David McFadden, Barry McKinnon, Erin Michie, Deborah Miller, Anna Mioduchowska, James M. Moir, Colin Morton, Erín Moure, Charles Noble, P.K. Page, Rajinderpal Pal, Ruth Roach Pierson, Joseph Pivato, Roberta Rees, D.C. Reid, Monty Reid, R. rickey, Ken Rivard, Stephen Scobie, Allan Serafino, Joan Shillington, Greg Simison, Carol Ann Sokoloff, Karen Solie, Stephan Stephansson, Peter Stevens, Ivan Sundal, Anne Swannell, Vanna Tessier, Colleen Thibadeau, John O. Thompson, James M. Thurgood, Eva Tihanyi, Yvonne Trainer, Aritha Van Herk, Rosalee van Stelten, Miriam Waddington, James Wreford Watson, Wilfred Watson, Tom Wayman, Phyllis Webb, Jon Whyte, Christine Wiesenthal, Sheri-D Wilson, Christopher Wiseman, Stacie Wolfer, Rita Wong, Richard Woollatt & Jan Zwicky