Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Short Review of Carapace

In the Winnipeg Free Press: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/arts-and-life/entertainment/books/search-of-literary-journals-discovers-poetry-at-its-best-138250999.html

"Toronto's Laura Lush also focuses on sparse, descriptive poems in Carapace (Palimpsest, 88 pages, $18). Lush tackles expected poetic themes — death and birth — although she occasionally transcends her subject matter with an unexpected perspective: "Tell me, what else is more / beautiful, more punishing / than milk?" Lush's best poems evoke nature in stark tones... Lush has a strong sense of how to use verbs like this to great effect, adding philosophic depth to otherwise simple observations."

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Fernie Fix 2011 Reading Highlights

Carapace by Laura Lush

"One of my favourite poetry collections of 2011 was Carapace – mainly for its powerful and beautiful descriptions of birthing and motherhood. It’s a gorgeous book that I will cherish and revisit often."

By Angie Abdou. Link for all of Angie's 2011 recommendations at http://www.ferniefix.com/article/2011-reading-highlights

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Good Holding Ground Reading

Cynthia Woodman Kerkham will be reading from her poetry collection Good Holding Ground

January 26, 2012 @ 7:30pm.
Readings by the Salish Sea.
Pelican Rouge Coffee House.
15142 North Bluff Road.
White Rock, B.C.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Quill & Quire Review of Carapace

Laura Lush’s third collection is awash in dualities: it is as much a celebration of life and new beginnings as a metaphysical journey into the notion of endings. The poems constantly switch from ironic to solemn, loving to hurt, empowerment to desolation. Anchoring these conflicting states, however, is the primacy of imagery.

Poems like “Sunset,” focused on how the eye sees – “your eyes, / anchored to the lake’s skyline, gazed the vastness” – evoke the works of John Ashbery and Wallace Stevens. Here the skyline becomes most overwhelming at its vanishing; to see the sky is to approach it not as a thing but a kind of activity, a poetic process.

Many of the poems in Carapace are painfully intimate. Giving birth becomes a stage upon which the constant colliding of psychic states – the elegiac against the euphoric, for example – produces a synthesis that gives the individual conditions new significance they would not possess in isolation. Elsewhere, the poems “Time Under” and “First Born” poignantly consider the “colossal effort of one foot in front / of the other” required in the midst of grief.

A carapace is the dorsal (upper) section of the exoskeleton on a variety of animals, including crustaceans and tortoises. The collection retains the image of the shell, especially as it relates to Lush’s nuanced explorations of human vulnerability. While it would be convenient to don a shell in our weaker moments, the poet suggests, to carry a carapace at all times would most likely be debilitating.
Carapace is a thoughtful collection, to be read and appreciated for its ideas about nature, family, and love. “This tableau vivant all yours” Lush writes in “Right Now at This Moment.” This moment, and many others in the collection, prompt us to see the world anew.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Kate Braid's quotable poem from Turning Left to the Ladies

Lesson 1: Nails

Look at Ed over there.
Sixty if he’s a day and the man looks
more graceful than a goddamned
crane. Nails hum for him.
Walls rise all around him
like some Eastern palace.
Ed knows
these little lines of steel can talk,
tell you what kind of wood you’re dealing with,
how thick and whether it’s wet or dry.

You feed ’em to your hammer like this.
Are you right handed? Hammer in the right,
nails in the left. Don’t look!
Just finger those nails and
roll them like cigarettes.
Place them
one at a time fast, right
where your hammer is
waiting, poised at the top
of the next swing
to give them a love tap or two.

Got the rhythm, kid, you got it now?
You’ve got to love a job that’s got
this much rhythm,
this much swing.

From Kate Braid’s Turning Left to the Ladies
Palimpsest Press 2009
Trade Paperback
ISBN ----