49th Shelf Most Anticipated 2015 Fall Poetry Selection
An obsessive perfectionist, Samuel Andreyev inhabits several worlds: he writes in English while living in France; he is an internationally known composer, performer, and teacher; and he is an experimental poet who documents words, phrases, and rhetorical devices while staying true to the fundamental tools of classical poetry.
The Relativistic Empire, Andreyev’s second poetry collection, combines the brevity and lightness of a comic strip with the complexity and richness of French symbolist poetry. Spare, yet rich with meaning; suggesting narrative, while forcefully pushing away from it-these poems strive for an edgy involvement with the world and language. Only a poet straddling borders of sound and sense could achieve this.
Readers familiar with the poetry of Tom Raworth, Trevor Joyce, or Rae Armantrout, will delight in Andreyev’s intense work.
Watch the Author Interview:
Watch the Book Launch and Reading:
Listen to Four Excerpts from The Relativistic Empire:
Praise for The Relativistic Empire:
“The Relativistic Empire is a carnival of specific instructions. Andreyev’s declensions describe absurd reality. Humour takes the poems on all the rides, from ‘real’ to ‘false’ in all their mirrors.” —Alice Burdick, author of Holler
“The Relativistic Empire shows the exquisite in the everyday; the slips of the tongue which sharpens the pencil’s point until it bleeds. Our things-and the names we give them-slide from strange to stranger, from contained to container. Whistling the orchestration of a beautiful ‘teflon ballet,’ Andreyev makes the poem march to clockwork and despair.” —derek beaulieu, Calgary’s Poet Laureate
“These are poems that react, question and comment, shifting both the familiar and the unfamiliar into their opposites.” —rob mclennan’s blog
“Andreyev uses his line breaks a lot to undermine general sense, yet this jagged little pile of words does its job of keeping readers off balance & dancing to his tune.” —Douglas Barbour, Eclectic Ruckus
Like It Means Anything: Samuel Andreyev’s The Relativistic Empire —Christopher Doda, Arc Poetry Magazine
Explode, Lie, or Fail: A Review of The Relativistic Empire by Samuel Andreyev —Michael Roberson, Canadian Literature
Interviews and Profiles:
At the Desk with Samuel Andreyev —Open Book Toronto
Samuel Andreyev is a writer, composer, teacher, and performer. His vocal, chamber, and orchestral compositions are performed in countries around the world. He operated The Expert Press, devoted to contemporary poetry, for several years in Toronto. His first full collection of poems, Evidence, was published by Quattro Books in 2009. Born and raised in Ontario, Andreyev studied composition, musical acoustics, orchestration, electroacoustics, and musical analysis at the Paris Conservatory (CNSMDP) and IRCAM (Paris). He has lived in France since 2003, where he is currently employed as a Professor of Musical Analysis at the Conservatoire de Cambrai, and as a freelance composer, writer, and oboist. Connect with Andreyev on Twitter @samuelandreyev.