Ruth Dallas | The Joy of a Ming Vase | Gazelle Books

As American critic Tom Disch quipped of many vintage poets: ‘friends and pets die, the garden takes on a new significance.’ There are poems in this collection about Dutch Masters, the remembered voice of a deceased soprano, a waterfall, ancient Chinese artefacts, victims of the World Wars, kites and flowers; but each piece is sensitively imbued not only with the poet’s awareness of impending death but also with the incorrigible fragility of life. While Dallas is at home in a number of different modes, her high regard for literary tradition as a form of spiritual realism makes her eminently readable as a disciplined watcher of the seasons. Continue reading

Louis Dudek | Zembla’s Rocks | Gazelle Books

Zembla’s Rocks is Louis Dudek’s first major collection of lyric poems since The Transparent Sea (1956). All of Dudek’s voices are here: the lyrical observer of everyday events, the satirizer of culture and society, the meditative poet. This book confirms Dudek’s impressive contribution to Canadian literature. Generally acknowledged as the pioneer of the Canadian long poem, Dudek has also been active as critic, teacher, modernist theoretician, editor and publisher for over four decades. In 1981 Frank Davel and bp Nicol said that “Dudek’s centrality to Canadian poetry will become indisputably apparent. His work binds Smith, Scott, and Klein to the writing of the present generation. It links Canadian writing to the great modernist descent from Joyce, Pound, Eliot, and Williams.” Continue reading

Louise Fabiani | The Green Alembic | Gazelle Books

The alembic was a vessel used in distillation one of the most important processes in the ancient art of alchemy. In these lyrical poems Louise Fabiani explores the prevalence of transformation in Nature as well as in the human realm. She finds alchemy in the creation of haute cuisine from raw ingredients, girlhood rites of passage, Mozart’s suspicious death and, most of all, in the familiar otherness of flora and fauna. Continue reading

Goli Khalatbary | Diary of a Tree | Gazelle Books

Diary of a Tree is a poem in two books from the point of view of a tree. Born in Tehran, Iran in 1944, Goli Khalatbary followed her father through his diplomatic postings as a girl. She saw many countries, many towns, and many landscapes, but could not have childhood friends. Poetry was the revelation of a summer day in a classroom, at 14, when she glanced at the window and was entranced by the way light transformed a drab scene into one that changed her heartbeat. Her earliest studies were in French, in schools and by correspondence. The full power of art occurred to her like another language when, at 18, she took a course in photography in England. In a career in this field spanning over 35 years, she produced mostly portraiture and illustrations for poetry. After moving to India she wrote the first book of “Diary of a Tree”, and showed it as a text exhibition at the India International Center, Delhi. In recent years she has expanded into new media and started working with silver, as well as bronze, iron, stone, and photography. She is now back in Tehran, where she shows her work in annual exhibitions. Continue reading

Victoria Brockmeier | My Maden Cowboy Names | Gazelle Books

Victoria Brockmeier composes a mosaic of storytelling myths, and feminist ideas in her award-winning collection of poems, My Maiden Cowboy Names. Both linguistically playful and genuinely experimental, these poems explore the smallness of human experience. The sumptuousness and vitality of this collection does not sacrifice the capacity for excavating observation and sharp wit. Lush and spacious, these poems revel in the unexpectedly beautiful and the beautifully broken. Continue reading