“This is a poetry of fault lines and connections, … the “flaws that grow compassion.” Though thanatos may haunt [his] many worlds, the creative urge invigorates them … with all the attendant longings stirred by Eros, agapé and familial love.” -John Barton
About the author
Ian Burgham, is an associate of the League of Canadian Poets. In 2004 he won the Queen’s University Well-Versed Poetry Prize. He is a graduate of both Queen’s University and the University of Edinburgh, and has lived for extended periods in various parts of the world. He served as a senior editor at Canongate Publishing in Edinburgh during the early 1980s. His poems have been published in a number of literary journals and magazines including dANDelion, Queen’s Quarterly, Scottish Arts Journal, Harpweaver, and the Literary Review of Canada. Burgham has had one poetry book published in the United Kingdom: Confession of Birds, (2003 chapbook). His first full collection of poems, The Stone Skippers, will be published in Australia and New Zealand by Sunline Press, Perth (introduction by Newcastle Prize winning poet, Roland Leach) and, in the UK by MacLean Dubois Publishers in February 2007 (Introduction by novelist and poet, Alexander McCall Smith). He is currently working on his third collection. Ian works as a volunteer to further the efforts of the Griffin Prize for Excellence in Poetry. He is an adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Queen’s University.
Excerpt: The Unquiet (by (author) Ian Burgham)
Weathering // Headlights search and pick out the seamed stone walls / on each side of the island’s narrow road. In Orkney stone, / a crack, a cut and weathered channel, is entry / to the remotest places – vast worlds of howl and murmur / and whistle sounds of storms and secrets / and systems of limitations and faults of love. / Stone is a woman’s fingers on the hand-rail / of an escalator at the Mall, followed / to her hand, to the yearning of her arm, / to eyes that fixed in stare with mine / till I thought her endless limbs would spread across my bed. / But she and I are moving in different directions, / and beyond the tips of her fingers is space, gap, / the gape that populates weathered cracks in stone / with which the wind makes words.
“Ian Burgham achieves the near-impossible in these poems – they are at once visceral, yet elusive; situated, very much present in the suitcases, rooms and iced breezes of our lives, while at the same time they reach towards the ineffable unsaid, “the unquiet thing.” The raw eloquence of these extraordinary poems is arresting and deeply memorable.”