49th Shelf Most Anticipated 2015 Fall Poetry Selection
Steven Ross Smith is one of Canada’s preeminent sound poets. He is also one of the few poets in Canada currently engaged in writing a life-poem (a long poem that encompasses a life)—Emanations is the sixth chapter of that project.
Smith bends, confuses, and disintegrates the fundamental premises of poetic and fictive creation-working language, narrative, and meaning like sculptural material. Emanations: fluttertongue 6 marks Smith’s return to verse form, while being a further engagement with composition by sound and its visual placement on the page.
These poems “emanate” from specific works by other poets, including bpNichol, Sylvia Legris, Federico Garcia Lorca, and Lisa Robertson. In this charged and frenetic work, the dominant themes are nature’s precariousness, social conundrums, and poetics.
This collection will appeal to fans of highly torqued and playful language reminiscent of bpNichol’s The Alphabet Game, Phil Hall’s Hearthedral: A Folk Hermetic, and Fred Wah’s is a door.
Watch the Book Launch and Reading:
Praise for Emanations: fluttertongue 6:
“Steven Ross Smith’s Emanations: fluttertongue 6 “Sounds like Futurism / looks like Charades.” It’s meant to provoke second-sight and attention to echoes, to what shimmers and whispers in the sensuality of sense. Herein is, oh “Poet,” “a pitch of try-to-understand before dark drops.” Need a guide? Look up Roy Miki and/or Samuel Beckett. You’re on to something!” —George Elliott Clarke, Toronto’s Poet Laureate, 2002 winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry for Execution Poems
“A superb technician of rhythm, rhyme and resonance, Smith lays everything on the table for an earth under siege from high finance, rampant human pollution, and wars of the supermarkets. His lines spill and flow like winding rivers or lapping waves laced with erotically sensuous word-scents that take us to what flutters just within and without our grasp. Aroused, we devour their prayers, their scoffs, their love songs, swept along in their amazing quilted music.” —Meredith Quartermain, author of Rupert’s Land
“Steven Ross Smith’s Emanations: fluttertongue 6 both sets its own landing field and touches down, in poetry that bucks and soars. Even the hyphens dart about in this surprise-fest, this portrait of the poet as renewer and renewed.” —Gerald Hill, author of Hillsdale Book
“Breath bubbles up, a whisper echoes, a nothingness, mineral, oesophageal, a throated speechless gasp. These emanations sound from the body, pause on the page but briefly, beg to be breath again.” —JR Carpenter, author of Words the Dog Knows
“Emanations: fluttertongue 6 is a book that will reward rereading, yet offers so much on first perusal. Steven Ross Smith, in his continuing fluttertongue project, of which this is a significant addition, is slowly constructing one of the major contemporary long poems.” —Eclectic Ruckus
“Rich with assonance, alliteration, and language play, the lines in these poems beg to be read aloud, to be heard.” —Ryan J. Cox, Canadian Literature
Interviews and Profiles:
At the Desk: Steven Ross Smith —Open Book Toronto
Steven Ross Smith is a sound and performance poet, as well as a writer of fiction and lyric poetry. He has served as publisher/editor at Underwhich Editions, business manager of Grain magazine, managing editor for Banff Centre Press, and as editor of the online magazine Boulderpavement. He has been publishing books since the 1970s, and was a member of the legendary sound poetry group, Owen Sound. Smith’s book fluttertongue 3: disarray won the 2005 Saskatchewan Book of the Year Award. The chapbook Pliny’s Knickers, a collaboration between Smith, poet Hilary Clark, and artist Betsy Rosenwald, won the 2006 bpNichol Chapbook Award. In 2008, he became Director of Literary Arts at The Banff Centre, where he served until February 2014. Smith currently lives in Banff, Alberta. Connect with Smith at www.fluttertongue.ca or on Twitter @SonnyBoySmith.