Finalist for the 2014 Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry
Virtualis: Topologies of the Unreal is a poetic investigation of melancholia and the baroque. As a collaborative reading of writers such as Walter Benjamin, Christine Buci-Glucksmann, Giorgio Agamben, Gilles Deleuze, Charles Baudelaire and Arthur Rimbaud, David Dowker and Christine Stewart have created a series of linguistic interjections that run from the allegorical barricades of the baroque to the topological confound of the modern, incorporating (for example) Medusa and the Sphinx, aestivating snails and the alchemy of bees. Lush and extravagant, this is writing tuned in to the terrestrial spectacle.
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“Virtualis: Topologies of the Unreal challenges and delights equally.” —Canadian Literature
“Dowker and Stewart use exquisitely ornamental language to exalt the majesty of the senses in poems I found to be radically potent. This book weaves a kind of lexical magic as threads of stunning lyricism and metaphysical fantasia so vibrant it feels like a synesthetic dream.” —HTMLGiant
“In their collaborative blend of ideas and language, the poems in Virtualis: Topologies of the Unreal work through the abstract, deliberately ungrounded, embracing sound, and allowing the theories to spark, but the words themselves to propel.” —rob mclennan’s blog
David Dowker was born in Kingston, Ontario but has lived most of his life in Toronto. He was the editor of The Alterran Poetry Assemblage, and his first book, Machine Language, was published in 2010.
Christine Stewart lives on the North Saskatchewan River. She works at the University of Alberta and the Learning Centre in downtown Edmonton. Publications include from Taxonomy, Pessoa’s July: or the months of astonishments and The Trees of Periphery. The Humanist is forthcoming from Red Nettle Press.