Finalist for the 2013 City of Ottawa Book Award
Finalist for the 2013 Archibald Lampman Award
Finalist for the 2013 ReLit Award for Poetry
Conflict interweaves ghosts, bad communication, the uncanny and the archival, to create a collection of poems that breaks down remembrance into abandoned historic markers, jet fuel, keening, or teeth. What you are given (this is a gift) is an insistent refusal to silence or shift. In exchange, the reader faces the impossibility of erasure and a gritty resistance. Conflict swells with the fractures and lacings in language, motion, architecture, and emotion; between individuals, systems, and mechanical silences.
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Listen to Christine McNair reading from Conflict at the 2012 Book*hug Spring 2012 Launch:
“Christine McNair is a one-woman fireworks spectacle. In her debut poetry publication CONFLICT she hits just about every target of creativity in writing in the poetic forum… this sorceress of language can settle into some poems that are about as sensitive and tender as any we can find.” —Grady Harp, Literary Aficionado
“There are so many striking moments of self-reflection and they are all so interesting that my readings prompt me to make an evidentiary list of some of them. It is particularly fruitful to hold these reflective moments up against the other primary modality of this book: which is an intense, intimate-driven, chaotic, incarcerating, phrasal composition by sonic vivacity. McNair has got a near ear. Her textural play is fantastic… This is a terrifically loaded book.” —Margaret Christakos, Arc Poetry Magazine
“Conflict was a joy to read and a challenge. The best things about new authors and new voices are the promises of what is to come. Christine McNair is going to write poetry that will both entertain and illuminate us if Conflict is any indication.” —Michael Dennis, Today’s Book of Poetry
“The language drifts from dreamlike to factual history, emphasizing the importance of memory and the forgotten, as well as the strength it takes to love the fragments that have been left behind. McNair takes us through poetry that forms together, while simultaneously breaking free from itself and forcing us to focus on our own loves and limitations…McNair invites us to look through the world with a different lens. A lens that inspires the beauty in deconstruction and reconstruction and everything that is in between. We are invited to see everything in our own lives as strong in itself, with a refusal to let anyone tell us anything different.” —Cassie Leigh, Grey Borders Reading Series
“Through constant collapse and regeneration, McNair’s work also frustrates any readerly assumption that great art should stand the reputed test of time, recognizing instead that time itself constantly shapes art, for better or worse.” – Matthew Redmond, The Bull Calf Review
“Conflict is a book that risks much, personally and otherwise, between methodical approach and an eye on pulling apart meaning, style and syntax. The poems are physical, forcing a comprehension of the self and the world, and the relationships between.” —rob mclennan, Prairie Fire Review of Books
“Writer Christine McNair is like an ambitious literary chef, whose impressive skills and large imagination transform word “ingredients” into a delicious poetic menu.” —Alejandro Bustos, Apt 613
“Conflict is a book of startling variety: lyrics, concrete-visual poems, conceptual pieces, prose-poems. It is a confident and assured debut, published in a typically beautiful edition.” —Cameron Anstee
Christine McNair’s work has appeared in sundry literary journals including CV2, The Antigonish Review, Prairie Fire, Arc, Descant, and Poetry is Dead. She won second prize in the Atlantic Canadian Writing Competition, an honourable mention in the Eden Mills Literary Competition, and was shortlisted for the 2010 Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry. She is one of the hosts of CKCU’s Literary Landscapes program and works as a book conservator in Ottawa. Conflict is her first book.