Monday, May 14, 2007

Toronto Poetry Readings: Notes For A Rescue Narrative by J. Mark Smith

Posters: Oolichan Books Invitation to a Reading by J. Mark Smith from his new collection of poems, Notes For a Rescue Narrative
Credit: Oolichan Books

J. Mark Smith reads from his new collection of poetry, Notes For a Rescue Narrative, at the following locations:

Tuesday, May 15, 8 p.m.

Merle Nudelman (We, the Women, poems)
Mark Smith (Notes for a Rescue Narrative, poems)
Glen Downie (Loyalty Management, poems)

Art Bar Poetry Series
The Victory Cafe
581 Markham St., Toronto
Nearest Major Intersection: Bloor St. / Bathurst St.
By Subway: go 1 Block West of Bathurst


Friday, May 18, 8 p.m.

Christopher Taylor (Shedding Knowledge, poems)
Mark Smith (Notes for a Rescue Narrative, poems)
Michael V. Smith (What you can't have, poems)

I.V. Lounge Reading Series
The I.V. Lounge
326 Dundas St. W., Toronto
Nearest Major Intersection: Dundas St. / Beverley St.
By Subway: go 3 Blocks West of St Patrick
across from the Art Gallery of Ontario


Notes For A Rescue Narrative / J. Mark Smith
Publisher: Oolichan Books

Notes For A Rescue Narrative / J. Mark Smith

Publisher: Oolichan Books
0-88982-233-6 • 80 pp • $16.95 • pb• April 2007 • Poetry
Story rescues no one from death, but out of the seams and lacunae of narrative a certain kind of lyric can emerge. In Notes for a Rescue Narrative, J. Mark Smith charts the oxbow turnings of diverse human voices through scepticism and belief, hope and despair, pride and humility. Inspired by the elegiac plainness of Wordsworth as much as by the many-mindedness of Pound, Smith’s poems probe into regions of experience where meaning falls away, and “the names hardly stick.”

A middle-aged British sailor remembers, decades afterwards, a strange “human-and-not-human” incident in the colonial port of Bombay. A man walking his dog near the Katyn monument in Toronto wonders at signs, and at the “mother-deep” ocean of human suffering. In a moment “out of an airport,” the speakers and story-tellers of the Mackenzie River regroup and ready themselves, not for a rescue, but for the future. Blue jays in the pine forests of the Great Basin turn through a death-dance of forgetfulness and fecundity. A traveller on a snow-bound plane straightens his spine to bear the difficult reality of an unstoried present. A man buries his long-dead father’s alpine equipment beneath a mountain in California, and finds a new welcome in the familiar “noise of chaos.”

Notes for a Rescue Narrative moves deftly between metrical and free verse forms, and includes homages to Horace, Eugenio Montale, and Antonio Machado.

J. Mark Smith was born in Eugene, Oregon and grew up in Edmonton. After twenty-five years of living in other places, including southern California and Toronto, Smith recently returned to his home-town of Edmonton to teach in the English department at Grant MacEwan College. Smith’s poems and creative non-fiction pieces have been published in literary journals and magazines. Notes For A Rescue Narrative is his first book of poems. He holds a doctorate in English from UC Irvine, and has published scholarly articles on nineteenth and twentieth century poetry and poetics. He lives with his wife, Jennifer Stewart, and their dog, Jasper, near the North Saskatchewan river valley.
oolichan books

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