Events & Reviews at This Ain’t The Rosedale Library

LISA ROBERTSON reads from Magenta Soul Whip

Posted in Events, Past events by thisaintblog on November 5, 2009


Monday, November 16, 2009 – 8:00pm – event is in the store and free.

‘Robertson makes intellect seductive; only her poetry could turn swooning into a critical gesture.’ – The Village Voice

Lisa Robertson writes poems that mine the past — its ideas, its personages, its syntax — to construct a lexicon of the future. Her poems both court and cuckold subjectivity by unmasking its fundament of sex and hesitancy, the coil of doubt in its certitude. Reading her laments and utopias, we realize that language — whiplike — casts ahead of itself a fortuitous form. The form brims here pleasurably with dogs, movie stars, broths, painting’s detritus, Latin and pillage. Erudite and startling, the poems in Lisa Robertson’s “Magenta Soul Whip,” occasional works written over the past fifteen years, turn vestige into architecture, chagrin into resplendence. In them, we recognize our grand, saddened century.

‘Lise Downe is the author of three books: A Velvet Increase of Curiosity, The Soft Signature and most recently Disturbances of Progress, the language and prosody of each book more delicately, purposefully broken than the last. Not “broken” as in a smashed teacup, but as light is broken by a prism, fanning out in front of the reader’s eyes. I hear echoes of, or parallels to, many other authors in Downe’s work – of Clark Coolidge’s Space in “Driven,” a sequence from The Soft Signature; or of Marjorie Welish’s iterative loops and sampled backtalk, in Disturbances of Progress. But one would hardly mistake Downe’s work for anyone else’s: these are some of the most scrupulous and beautiful of contemporary poems, possessing a tough unreasonableness underneath the slight lyric grace, as Eliot didn’t say of Andrew Marvell.’ – Nate Dorward

Natalie Zina Walschots’ writing has appeared in FOURSQUARE, Matrix, Rampike and Open Letter. She served as the Managing Editor of both filling Station and dANDelion magazines, and co-curated the Flywheel reading series from 2005–08. Walschots completed her MA in English/Creative Writing at the University of Calgary, and recently moved to Toronto where she teaches writing to grade 12 students at a private school. Walschots’ first book of poetry, the 2007 Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry-winning Thumbscrews, is a poetic engagement with the aesthetics of sadomasochism and consensual pain, each poem taken as a miniature sadomasochistic encounter where language is tied up, beaten, and twisted into submission.


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