Today, we celebrate the much-anticipated final release of our Fall 2021 season, The Absence of Zero by R. Kolewe! Fiercely attentive to detail, alive with echoes and repetitions, The Absence of Zero explores the nature of time and memory in both content and form. Read on to learn all about this haunting new work of poetry.
& if I interrupt myself again
just loss itself. How loss is written
on the edge of everything, a library
arranged in order after
Happy Book Birthday to The Absence of Zero by R. Kolewe! We are so excited for readers to meet this book, which has already been spotlighted on several ‘Most Anticipated’ fall poetry preview lists, including 49th Shelf, CBC Books, and Publishers Weekly. This is the second of Kolewe’s works that Book*hug has had the honour of publishing. It was a wonder to see this new project grow and to witness the ever-expanding practice of a poet perpetually in experiment.
The Absence of Zero is a triumphantly executed celebration of the long poem tradition. Consisting of 256 16-line quartets, and 34 free-form interruptions, this slow-moving haunting work is a beautiful example of thinking in language, a meditation that explores time and memory in both content and form. The 20th century is already more than 20 years past: The Absence of Zero is Kolewe’s elegy to that era, and the disparate fragments of its ideas that continue to affect and disrupt our present.
In anticipation of its release, Kolewe has shared a reading from his new book. Watch below or here. Enjoy!
Praise for The Absence of Zero:
That’s all for now, dear reader. Please join us again in wishing a very Happy Book Birthday to R. Kolewe! The Absence of Zero is available to purchase from our online shop or from your local independent bookstore today. Happy reading!
R. Kolewe was born in Montreal and lives in Toronto. Educated in physics and engineering at the University of Toronto, he pursued a successful career in the software industry for many years. He now lives in Toronto, and writes full time. His work has appeared online at ditch, e-ratio, The Puritan, and (parenthetical), as well as in the Literary Review of Canada and PRISM International. He is the author of two previous poetry collections, including Afterletters (Book*hug Press, 2014) and Inspecting Nostalgia (2017).