The Poetry of Daphne Marlatt
Paper 96 pp.
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Opening doors, dreaming awake, tracing networks of music and meaning, Marlatt’s poetry stands out as an essential engagement with what matters to anyone writing with a social-environmental conscience. Rivering includes poems inspired by the village of Steveston where, before the war, a Japanese-Canadian community lived within the rhythms of salmon on the Fraser River delta. Also gathered into Rivering: lesbian love poetry from Touch to my Tongue; a transformance of Nicole Brossard’s Mauve; passages from The Given, winner of the 2009 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize; a traditional “Kuri” song from the Noh drama, The Gull; and an unpublished excerpt from the chamber opera “Shadow Catch.”
Difficult, beautiful, heart-breaking realities of the twenty-first century are urgently immediate in selections from Liquidities: Vancouver Poems Then and Now. All of the poems speak to Marlatt’s poetics of place and of language as passage between distant or disparate human beings, and between human beings and the more-than-human world. The selections are framed by Susan Knutson’s deeply attentive critical introduction and by Marlatt’s “immediacies of writing,” a new lyrical essay investigating the act of writing. Closing with a walking meditation situated by her Buddhist practice, Rivering is both a “pocket Marlatt” and an introduction to one of the best poets of our time.
Susan Knutson was born in Vancouver but moved in 1988 to the francophone Acadian community of Clare, Nova Scotia, to teach at Université Sainte-Anne. She has authored numerous articles and one book, Narrative in the Feminine: Daphne Marlatt and Nicole Brossard (WLU Press, 2000), and has edited Canadian Shakespeare (2010) and the interdisciplinary review Port Acadie.
Daphne Marlatt, poet, novelist, essayist, oral historian, and Noh dramatist, has been writing and publishing for four decades. Her many titles include Vancouver Poems, Steveston, and most recently, Liquidities: Vancouver Poems Then and Now, as well as the novels Zócalo, Ana Historic, and Taken. Her novelistic long poem The Given received the 2009 Dorothy Livesay Award. She was awarded the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award for her work in 2012.
By the same editor