Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Slant Room

Excitement about my brother's first collection of poetry, Slant Room, being accepted for publication by Porcupine's Quill (PQL)! It's not coming out until 2009, mind you, but that's the pace at which these things proceed I'm told. In fact, Michael had been shopping the book around for well over a year but had received few responses. A fortuitous exchange with Zachariah Wells at Career Limiting Moves, though, led to an offer within days.

Michael has won numerous awards including Fiddlehead's Ralph Gustafson Poetry Prize and the John Haines Poetry Award from Ice-Floe. He was also shortlisted for the 2005 CBC Literary Award. You can read his poem "Translations of Willow" here, and "Castor Gulo (poem of a beaver becoming a wolverine)" here.

I enjoy his adventurousness with language. One of the distinctive ticks of his style is bold anthimeria, as in this excerpt:
The tightship freshet lifeboats overboard to sea,
floats the saltlick surface glassy green.
Or this:
The hinge of ladder stepped
beneath the window kilters on the grass, and flies the woozy
shadow from the kitchen trying to stop it
Kilter, now there's a good verb. In practice, and in Michael's poetry, anthimeria mostly takes the form of making verbs from nouns, or verbing.

He also plays with licensing nonstandard complements, for example, by using intransitive verbs transitively, as he does here:
The houses round the cul-
de-sac are gutted, all the windows smashed,
poplars suckering the yards.
It would be nice to have some more intact poems to look at. I'll try to convince him to let me put a new piece online.

By the way, it seems that there are too many people with the name Michael Reynolds out there and he's considering using "Michael E. Reynolds" or "Michael Eden Reynolds." Any thoughts?


The Ridger, FCD said...

Michael Eden Reynolds is a good name. And he's a fine poet. I like those two very much indeed.

Anonymous said...

"Translations of Willow" gave me shivers.