Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Meet Local Junction Poet Glen Downie - 2008 Toronto Book Award Finalist

Screenshot: Toronto Public Library: 2008 Toronto Book Awards
Credit: torontopubliclibrary.ca

"Undeniably Torontonian, Downie's poems travel nimbly through our old Victorian homes, up the trees in our yards, down our streets and into other lands. This book evokes vibrant images of objects and relationships, filtered through layers of immense kindness, a shrewd eye for deceit, and an established technical skill. These poems are richly textured and utterly readable."
Committee's comments on this book

ANNETTE STREET PUBLIC Library is hosting Junction resident / poet Glen Downie for a free author reading on Thursday, October 16 at 7 pm.

Glen's book Loyalty Management is nominated for this year's City of Toronto Book Award.

The event is taking place the evening before the winner will be announced.

Annette Street Branch
145 Annette Street, Toronto, ON M6P 1P3
Phone: 416-393-7692

Congratulations to Glen Downie on the nomination of Loyalty Management (W&W 2007) for the 2008 City of Toronto Book Award. Downie has been shortlisted as a finalist for this year's award. The winner will be announced October 17th at the Toronto Reference Library.

Come and meet Glen Downie, author of "Loyalty Management" - a Toronto Book Awards nominee.

Screenshot: Toronto Public Library: 2008 Toronto Book Awards Joint the Celebration!
Credit: torontopubliclibrary.ca
2008 Toronto Book Award Finalist

Loyalty Management, poetry by Glen Downie nominated for Toronto Book Award

Loyalty Management
Glen Downie
published by Wolsak and Wynn Publishers Ltd.

Corporations connive to "manage" our loyalty; repressive governments try to compel it. Opposing these notions, Glen Downie explores the bonds we freely forge to people and to places. His sixth book declares its loyalties by uncommon attention to lives lived, whose traces may be as evident as brickwork or as hidden as signatures under old wallpaper. Sensitive to meaning in the humblest object - a spoon, a doll, a pocket watch - these poems testify that loyalty bears the weight of tangible personal reality, whether of a newborn hefted into its cradle or a father's ashes lowered into the ground.

Glen Downie
Glen Downie was born in Winnipeg, worked in cancer care for many years in Vancouver, and currently lives in Toronto. He served as Writer-in-residence at the Medical Humanities Program of Dollhouse University's Faculty of Medicine in 1999. He has published fiction, non-fiction, reviews, and six books of poetry. His latest collection is Loyalty Management (Wolsak & Wynn, 2007).

Excerpt from Loyalty Management

The little engine of my days un-
nests the nesting cups yellow
red blue yellow red blue
smaller to bigger so fast
Doesn't need me
for this I winnow

the mail: letter with surreal poem
plane tickets consumer survey
asking if we suffer

dandruff & what is the family

Lunch Peas
in her hair occasionally
her mouth In the poem
Stalin's brain gets fed
to a large snake Sated
she naps

while we stroller to the store for more
milk Have we ever bought
Head & Shoulders? Home again

check the ticket fine print insurance
declined Father's birthday
unmissable Those once-in-a-blue-moon
heart-tug visits will be
leaky-heart-valve visits now sped up
like a racing pulse

to every few octogenarian/baby-months But
the family income? These
tickets paid for with years

of shrink-the-world Air Miles Woe
the world is tiny in the brochures

& mailed (return address says) from the
Loyalty Management Group She
wakes demands her share
of mail starts shredding the questionnaire

There are no edges to my loving now
as torn questions & forced-choice answers
come snowing from her hands
to dandruff her dark hair

Loyalty Management by Glen Downie. Published by Wolsak and Wynn Publishers Ltd. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.
2008 shortlist:

Elspeth Cameron - And Beauty Answers
David Chariandy - Soucouyant
Glen Downie - Loyalty Management
Elyse Friedman - Long Story Short
Barbara Gowdy - Helpless
Photo gallery
Credit: Toronto Public Library

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