BookThug is very pleased to announce that Aisha Sasha John’s acclaimed 2014 collection THOU is a Finalist for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry, Ontario’s leading award for literature!
Established in 1987 to recognize the excellence of Ontario writers and writing, the Trillium Book Award is open to books in any genre: fiction, non-fiction, drama, children’s books and poetry.
Past Trillium winners include Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Timothy Findley, Anne Michaels, and BookThug’s own Phil Hall, who won in 2012 for his poetry collection Killdeer.
In 2003, there was a further enhancement to the traditional Trillium Book Award with the creation of the new Trillium Book Award for Poetry for new and emerging poets. A first, second or third work by a poet is eligible.
Six English and five French books have been shortlisted in all categories. Congratulations to all the shortlisted authors. To see the complete list of Finalists, check out the official news release from the OMDC. The winners will be announced in Toronto on June 17, 2015. Good luck Aisha!
To celebrate, BookThug is offering THOU at a 20% discount from now until June 20, on both print and eBook versions. Order your copy now from BookThug.ca today!
The follow up to John’s shimmering debut, The Shining Material, THOU is a powerful collection of two long, narrative poems exploring the social space that exists between the self and others. Using the language that connects these two states of being, THOU investigates the idea of “you” – what it is and what it means to say “you,” the stories we make of our own multiple “yous,” and by extension, the “you” an author can make of her own book.
Building on the emotionally charged language of John’s previous work, THOU will tantalize readers’ senses, and will provoke comparisons to such acclaimed poets as Anne Carson (especially Glass, Irony and God) and Alice Notley.
Praise for Aisha Sasha John:
“Miss John here reminds, in oddly comely poems of direct address, “how small the aesthetic is” and how ravenously transcendent the human woman. The mouths of these poems adore phonemes and are unafraid of their important difference: they say the woman as the linguist of thinking. They refuse to assuage or to mollify or to rectify. They smack of an emergent candour. To serve their biopolitic, they may have invented an extra vowel, the first since Hittite.” – Lisa Robertson
Praise for THOU:
“Aisha Sasha John’s THOU re-plays that archaic pronoun as a constantly present movement and rhythm of attention: the suddenness of the interpolative “moment.” These lines of poetry “shake…a little” as the “I” narrates and choreographs a monologue of the self in motion; each page is the dance floor and John’s words break through the “I-as-you” with both the foreignicity of anticipation and the reflection of grace.” – Fred Wah
“THOU is physical, fearless in its vulnerabilities, a sensing amid thought’s most succulent folds. THOU is a choreography of irresolute bodies, the insistent shifting of their positions. Aisha Sasha John is a poet of centrifugal energy, of reverberant intimacy.” – Michael Nardone
“John is brilliant at communicating. She’s also really funny. Poems don’t get more direct and precise and unforgettable than this.” – National Post
“…a truly beautiful book and a rare gift…” – Broken Pencil
“To read this book is to experience the poem happening to you—and to want in.” – Gillian Jerome for 49th Shelf
You can download an excerpt of THOU from BookThug’s website, here.
Read the poem “To make a work is to sit with your irrelevance,” which was published in April 2014 in The Globe Mail, here.
Read Aisha’s interview with Open Book Toronto, here; and check out her conversation with the great Lisa Robertson below.
Aisha Sasha John is a dancer and poet. She is the author of THOU (BookThug 2014) and The Shining Material (BookThug 2011). She lives in Toronto.