On Friday, September 28, at 7pm, we are excited to host a remarkable poetic duo at the store for a showcase of their new work! Montreal natives Carmine Starnino (With English Subtitles, This Way Out, A Lover's Quarrel) and Julie Bruck (The End of Travel) will be reading from their new collections. From Starnino's rousing, sure-to-be controversial essay collection on Canadian poetry, Lazy Bastardism (Gaspereau Press) to the "antic sensuality" of Bruck's poems in Monkey Ranch (Brick Books) - come prepared to be thoroughly entertained!
"As the successor to A Lover's Quarrel, Carmine Starnino's first collection of essays on Canadian poetry that appeared in 2005, Lazy Bastardism promises to be just as controversial and definitive. Starnino once again pins his colours to the mast with challenging reassessments of poets such as bpNichol, Margaret Atwood and Don McKay as well as generous and illuminating appreciations of Margaret Avision, Eric Ormsby and Karen Solie. Notable pieces in this new collection include a stirring defense of John Glassco's poetry and a fascinating attempt to reconstruct the life of an obscure 18th century officer of the Royal Artillery by drawing on his occasional poems. As well, the book opens with an extended, candid, self-quarreling “notebook” essay where Starnino mulls over own process as a poet and critic. Highly entertaining and full of shrewd observations, Lazy Bastardism can be regarded as radical challenge to the Canadian literary-critical status quo and will be indispensable reading for literary historians, academics and critics—not to mention practicing poets." (From the catalogue copy)
Additionally, we must tell you that we have hosted several evenings with Carmine over the past years, and we can vouch for the fact that he is a gracious and charming man.
"Montreal native Julie Bruck’s third collection of poems is also her first since 1999. The intervening years have seen seismic shifts in aesthetics, but Bruck, now based in San Francisco, has produced a timely reminder that there is still room for excellent poetry in a mode that is no longer deemed fashionable.
Whereas foregrounded technique and verbal razzle-dazzle characterize much new poetry, Bruck favours a plain style in her free-verse lyrics, the prime virtues of which are clarity and subtlety... The strongest work in the book tends to be focused on family, whether looking back at the poet’s own childhood or at her present. She sometimes moves backward and forward in time simultaneously, and draws striking parallels and contrasts between the fragile family unit and the world that harbours and occasionally threatens it. Domestic verse gets a bad rap – often deservedly – for being trivial, but Bruck freights her household scenes with such emotion and latent danger that they are never merely about herself and her relationships. She is less successful in a handful of overtly political pieces, but the best poems in this book are so stark and moving as to render any such reservations negligible." (From Quill & Quire - full review here)
Julie is a former book publicist and is originally from Montreal where she did this writing. She has now lived in San Francisco for over 15 years but comes home every summer to visit her mother.
We have high hopes for this event - Do come by!