- Botero's Beautiful Horses
- Jan Conn
- 6" × 8.75"
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"Mexico en negro" by Leslie Zeidenweber
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Listen to Poems from Botero's Beautiful Horses
"Every drawer in every chest overflows with illogic and passion."
"Do we want love / each and every day of our lives?" Jan Conn asks in a poem called "Michoacán." "You bet your ass," she answers. The poems of Botero's Beautiful Horses are charged with otherness, bright with the exhilaration and danger of transformation. Many are descriptions of surrealist canvases, astonishingly kinetic narratives composed by looking hard at unusual pictures, the artists' writings and their circumstances - and letting them speak for themselves. The book becomes a journey away from the familiar into other cultures, especially Latin American. Poem after poem gathers a sense of inner as well as outward journey away from a "perilous childhood" into a wide world rich and strange with a recurrent underworld motif of darkness, blackness. But what a black! Rich and various, life as if viewed in the "obsidian mirrors the Aztecs fashioned from the dark."
Colours the Aztecs invented:
black of the flowery wars
They loved the night creatures: owls, scorpions,
bats, the Queen of Spiders.
from "People of the Left-Sided Hummingbird"
"Jan Conn is a Dali with a scalpel of words, with colourwheels for eyes. To read her is to feel alive, sometimes flayed, but always securely held in a dream overwhelmingly rich with exotic flora and fauna. She is conducting an operation of intelligence and observation, a taxonomy of the senses cooked over flames of Art and wholly embracing the cultures of the Americas." - Marilyn Bowering
Ten Questions with Jan Conn – September 9, 2009, on Open Book Toronto
More Brick Books by Jan Conn
- Botero's Beautiful Horses: a few notes on Jan Conn's new collection of poetry by Lorette C. Luzajic, May 11, 2009 (The Girl Can Write blog)
- Botero's Beautiful Horses by John Herbert Cunningham (Prairie Fire)
- Suburban to surreal by Bill Robertson (Saskatoon StarPhoenix, August 8, 2009)
- Conn shines in travel poems when she moves inward by George Elliott Clarke (Halifax Chronicle-Herald, March 7, 2010)
- rave: Carolyn Smart & Jan Conn by Lori A. May (loriamay.blogspot.com, January 31, 2011)
- From Ireland to Latin America by Elizabeth Cran (The Guardian, Charlottetown, PEI, October 2009)
- Botero’s Beautiful Horses by Jan Conn by Janet Grafton (The Goose, issue 9, summer 2011 - pages 25, 26, 27)
- Review of Botero’s Beautiful Horses, by Jan Conn by Anne Burke (Prairie Journal of Canadian Literature, May 24, 2010)
- Equine, Bovine, Divine by Owen Percy (Canadian Literature #209 (Summer 2011))
Books of related interest
- Two Hemispheres by Nadine McInnis