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Site Conditions

Reading Site Condition by Monty Reid (Apt. 9 Press, 2011) is humbling. As with any of his work he walks that line between what is visible and implied, what is accessible and that simultaneous twist to another level of depth that so many try for with their narrative papercut endings but you see it coming.

His poems are concrete and specific and plain-language but don’t talk down to the reader. The poems move towards the reader and the reader can step towards the poem as an equal.

The poems open outward in a way that makes sense after you’ve heard it yet you didn’t see it coming. You never can anticipate and yet never feel cheated either. Take


One glove is lost.

The other says ‘hold on to me
hold on to me’.

It knows.

That’s what attention to craft for decade will do sometimes.

It is not just having a voice but what you use it for. What does the poem choose to say?

“What irradiates the poetry and compels the reader is a quality of wisdom[…], that the poem is a trawl, not just talk.” ~Seamus Heaney on Czesław Miłosz’s centenary at The Guardian [via The Page]

Cameron Anstee of Apt. 9 Press will be at the small press fair on Saturday (as will I with my phafours table).

Apt. 9 & above/ground author Ben Ladouceur will be part of the Pre-Press reading Friday night at the Carleton Tavern along with fellow readers Adam Thomlison, Amanda Earl and Jim Smith. Jim Smith is a Mansfield Press author and Mansfield will have a Thursday night reading in Ottawa as well.

After the small press fair, that evening, Once Upon a Slam has the season finals of storytelling.

Sunday is the first of 3 spoken word ekphrastic response to the Caravaggio exhibit with performancs taking place in the gallery at 2pm Sunday June 26, 6:30pm Thursday July 21 and the third of three at 2pm Saturday August 13. Mark Doty did it. This time, four spoken-word poets will, Mehdi Gonny-Hamdad, Rusty Priske, Marjolaine Beauchamp and Kevin Matthews.

Conditions are good for good poetry.

And good books. Tips on writing books.

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Continuing the Discussion

  1. […] Pearl Pirie said some very thoughtful and accurate things about Monty Reid’s Site Conditions on her blog. […]