- Modern and Normal
- Karen Solie
- 5.5" × 8.75"
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Shortlisted for the 2006 Trillium Book Award for Poetry and longlisted for the 2006 ReLit Awards. A Globe 100 title in 2005.
Evade your eye. Try to see as others do
what is desired or refused. What went wrong.
Or right, then wrong. Objectively, what hangs.
Pull yourself together. Years are neither kind
nor cruel. You drag on. The girl is gone.
Consider that it might be time to call in
a professional. Blood is fearless, runs
to meet a touch, indiscriminate, remembering
the first time it fell in love with the world, unaware
that now you are alone.
- from "Mirror"
In Modern and Normal, Karen Solie takes her on-the-road fascination with being between places to a new level, exploring conceptual and perceptual states of in-betweenness - for example, between what is perceived and what is actually there, or between and among the patterns the world repeats from the cell to the structure of the universe - to find points of intersection. Solie finds a middle ground between the discourses of the hard sciences and the intuitive, a realm of weird overlap wherein lie questions of probability, fate, determinism, chance, luck, and faith. She writes about fractals and physics, but also about bar bands, broken hearts, and the trappings of desire. Some splendid landscape poems celebrate nature while mourning the way in which it's often exploited and used. Once again Karen Solie offers readers her lovely dexterity and skill in poems which entertain as they move.
On Rhyme and Reason in Poetry - Patrick Watson interviews Karen Solie in Books in Canada (April 2006)
Karen Solie was born in Moose Jaw, grew up in Saskatchewan, and now lives in Toronto. She has worked as a truck driver and a teacher. Her poetry has been published in many North American journals, and a short story in The Journey Prize Anthology. Brick Books brought out her first book of poetry, Short Haul Engine, in 2001. Her latest poetry collection, Modern and Normal, was published by Brick Books in 2005. This interview was conducted by e-mail.
Karen Solie is interviewed by Radio New Zealand - April 7, 2013 - Karen Solie writes a lot about the land, about her connection to it and the threats to rural landscapes from developers and mining industries. Since publishing her first collection 'Short Haul Engine' in 2001, Karen's won a stack of awards and represented Canada at the 'poetry Olympics' in London last year.
The Poetic World of Karen Solie at Open Book Toronto by Jon Eben Field.
The band Memoryhouse uses Karen Solie's poetry collection Modern and Normal as a reference for their song 'Modern, Normal' by Denise Nouvion
'Modern, Normal' refers to a poetry collection entitled Modern and Normal by a Canadian writer named Karen Solie, which focuses on the alienation associated with living in the city. While 'Sleep Patterns' conveys a more nostalgic sentiment, 'Modern, Normal' reflects an alienation affiliated with being forced into a state of constant progression; knowing that everything is fleeting, that everything will eventually be rebuilt or replaced. In a North American city things rarely reach old-age, instead they are replaced well before their time.
More Brick Books by Karen Solie
- Short Haul Engine (2001)
- Lichen's Radial Grace and other subtleties of reading pleasures by Michael Redhill (Nuvo Magazine, Spring 2006)
- Poet builds new book with vocabulary of mathematics by Heidi Greco (Vancouver Sun, February 25th, 2006)
- Modern and Normal by Karen Solie by Andrew Vaisius (Prairie Fire)
- The future is now for Canadian verse by George Murray (Globe and Mail, October 15th, 2005)
- Modern and Normal, Karen Solie by Donald R. Officer (Tree Lines - Reviews & Commentary, February 2009)
- Modern and Normal by Karen Solie by Adebe D.A. (Youngpoets.ca, January 2009)
- Modern Takes on What Makes Us Human by Gillian Jerome (Canadian Literature #191, winter 2006)
- The Truth Beyond the Equal Sign by Sarah Law (Stride Magazine, September 5, 2007)
- Karen Solie’s triple vision by James Pollock (Arc Poetry Magazine # 82, Winter 2010)
- Modern and Normal by Angela Hickman (Books Under Skin blog, April 4, 2011)
- Modern and unusual by Lyle Neff (Vancouver Review vol.7 (Fall 2005))
- On Rhyme and Reason in Poetry - Patrick Watson interviews Karen Solie by Patrick Watson (Books in Canada (April 2006))
- Karen Solie. Modern and Normal. by Rob Winger (Arc Poetry Magazine 56 Summer 2006)
- Surveying the Landscape: Innovation in Contemporary Canadian Poetry by Sina Queyras (Gulf Coast Reviews, fall 2007)
- How Poems Work: Adam Sol: Unveiling Human Feeling in Karen Solie's "Untitled" by Adam Sol (Lemonhound.com)
Books of related interest
- Short Haul Engine by Karen Solie