As Auden famously said, “poetry does nothing.” It is a genre of failure, and as such poetry is rich with failure.
Book of Knots, a new book-length long poem by Canadian poet and academic Jay Gamble, seeks to engage with life’s failure, by building ‘a nothing’ out of something, where formal innovation, including exhaustive “single sentence” pieces, noun-less poems, interruption, computerized homolinguistic translation, and procedural poems, all contribute to a Möbius ouroboros self-consuming trajectory of impossibility.
Think of Book of Knots as a kind of Seinfeld of poetry: at its centre is nothing, and its playful approach to critical negation results in puzzles and riddles that may yield no answers, but are richer from the asking.
In Conversation: Jay Gamble discusses Book of Knots — BookThug Blog
Jay Gamble was born and raised in London, Ontario. He completed his BA and MA at the University of Waterloo, where he wrote his thesis on the work of Robert Kroetsch. He completed his PhD at the University of Calgary, which focused on the ethics of nothingness in Canadian prairie literature. Some poems from Book of Knots have appeared, in different versions, in Shift and Switch: New Canadian Poetry. Jay currently teaches English at the University of Lethbridge and is the proud father of two sons.