“Succulent in its excellence, Sze’s poetry insists that cultural ‘difference’ is what can make a beautiful difference in our apprehension of the ‘beautiful.’” — George Elliott Clarke on Peeling Rambutan
In Panicle, Gillian Sze makes her readers look and, more importantly, look again. It’s a collection that challenges our notion of seeing as a passive or automatic activity by asking us to question the process of looking. The book’s first section, “Underway,” deals with the moving image and includes both poetic responses to film theory and lyrical long poems while also reimagining fairy tales. The next section, “Stagings,” takes its inspiration from the still image and explores a wide range of periods, movements, and media. Sze’s focus on the process of looking anticipates “Guillemets,” a creative translation of Roland Giguère’s 1966 chapbook, Pouvoir du Noir, which contains a series of poems accompanied by his own paintings. Sze’s approach to Giguère is two-fold: she “translates” his text, and artist Jessica Hiemstra provides a visual response to her translation. The final section, “Panicle,” continues the meditative quality of “Guillemets” in a suite of poems that ruminate on nature, desire, and history.
Gillian Sze is the author of five poetry collections, including Peeling Rambutan (Gaspereau Press, 2014) and Redrafting Winter (BuschekBooks, 2015), both of which were finalists for the QWF A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry. Her work has received awards such as the University of Winnipeg Writers’ Circle Prize and the 3Macs carte blanche Prize. She studied creative writing and English literature and has a Ph.D. in Études anglaises from Université de Montréal. Originally from Winnipeg, she now resides in Montreal.
Published: September 2017
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 in.