One of the most prolific and engaged book reviewers in Canada over the past fifteen years, Ottawa writer rob mclennan has slowly been moving into longer forms, producing essays on the works of such diverse Canadian writers as George Bowering, Jon Paul Fiorentino, jwcurry, Margaret Christakos, and Barry McKinnon.
subverting the lyric: essays works through mclennan’s years of writing, thinking, and blogging through literature, as reader, writer, performer, editor, critic, reviewer, and just plain fan of the art. In these fifteen pieces, mclennan writes about travel, Canadian poets in general — and some very specifically — as well as his own investigations of the writer’s craft. Together, they remap our literary and linguistic landscape, “the contours, rifts, subductions, tectonic plates of the medium in which we exist,” inscribing a poetics of geography, process, and culture that is at once strikingly new and refreshingly communal. The breadth of mclennan’s take on Canadian poetry, alone, is remarkable: his ability to reconcile the concerns, successes, and failures of both the “mainstream” and the “fringe” of our literature urges — and begins — a critical overhaul that’s been long overdue.
rob mclennan currently lives in Ottawa. The author of fourteen trade poetry collections in Canada, Ireland, and England, he has published poetry, fiction, interviews, reviews, and columns in over two hundred publications in fourteen countries and in four languages, and is the author of Ottawa: The Unknown City (Arsenal Pulp Press). He is the editor/publisher of above/ground press and the long–poem magazine stanzas (both founded in 1993), the online critical journal www.poetics.ca (with Ottawa poet Stephen Brockwell), and the Ottawa poetry annual ottawater (www.ottawater.com).
Published: June 2008
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 in.