The Irrationalist is the acclaimed follow-up to the award-winning poetry collection, Past Imperfect, from one of Canada's best poets. At once whimsical and heartbreaking, these eccentric lyrics investigate the shifting grounds of knowledge while refusing to take any authority -- be it Epictetus, Therese de Lisieux, Nicolaus Copernicus, Ma Yuan, or the fugitive spectre of self, to name only a few of the volume's dramatis personae -- too seriously. Here one inhabits a world on the eve of extinction, in which "astronomers predict a 'Big Rip' in the cosmos resulting in a cold, dark, never-ending end," and yet the darkness is continually illuminated by a pyrotechnics of curiosity, candor, and wit.
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.
... Buffam's faultless forms ... emerge from a single supple and lively intelligence.
Buffam impresses with her wisdom, grace, and generosity: This is warm, engaging poetry and it deserves the broadest possible audience.
...consistently sharp and engaging...she succeeds admirably.
Sarcastic and hopeful, cerebral and evocative...