The Revolving City: 51 Poems and the Stories Behind Them by Wayde Compton

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Wayde Compton
Anvil Press/ Simon Fraser University
Date of release


The Revolving City: 51 Poems and the Stories Behind Them

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Book review

Poetry. Literary Nonfiction. Finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award. THE REVOLVING CITY: 51 POEMS AND THE STORIES BEHIND THEM is a vibrant and diverse collection from a who's who of the west coast poetry scene. The poems assembled here range from the lyric to the experimental and address the theme of disconnection in an urban environment from a variety of positions, concerns, and cultural perspectives. The collection also includes short reflections on the poems, written by the poets themselves, providing readers with an intimate insight into the inspiration and meaning behind the poems. THE REVOLVING CITY anthology evolved out of the Lunch Poems reading series, a stimulating exchange of poetic ideas and cadence held the third Wednesday of every month in public space at Simon Fraser University's Vancouver campus. THE REVOLVING CITY seeks to build community, extend poetry to new audiences, and reflect the rich diversity of the poetry scene both local and distant. Edited by much- lauded writer and director of the Writer's Studio, Wayde Compton, and award-winning poet Renée Sarojini Saklikar.

"In these fiercely competitive and egotistical times, what a relief when established poets stand alongside and support emerging ones. The poems—passionate, compassionate and critical at once, investigating, as Meredith Quartermain puts it, 'the physical, the historical, the cultural and the linguistic grounds' of the city—are deepened by each poet's reflection on their own work. Here are the cultural voices of Canada's today and tomorrow. Listen. You will be hearing more."—Kate Braid, author of Turning Left to the Ladies and Rough Grounds Revisited

"Plato said poets are the people least likely to be able to say anything enlightening about the craft. He was a curmudgeon for thinking that, but not entirely wrong, because good poems derive less from the intellect than from the solar plexus, the bone marrow, or what Yeats called 'the rag-and-bone shop of the heart.' It's so hard to write a good poem that poets leap at the chance to talk about what they were trying to achieve, or how it came to pass; and these ruminations are always more personal and often more engaging than the poems themselves. THE REVOLVING CITY celebrates this wonderful dichotomy and, at times, blessedly defies it."—Gary Geddes, author of What Does a House Want? and editor of 20th-Century Poetry and Poetics

"THE REVOLVING CITY not only manages to emphasize the importance of breaking social divides, but it also reveals the inherently effective power poetry has in expressing issues of societal significance."—The Ubyssey

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