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Kingdom, Phylum

by Adam Dickinson

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Shortlisted for the 2007 Trillium Book Award for Poetry

Ecologically aware poems, hardwired to the intellect and the heart in equal measure.

Adam Dickinson’s poems, with firm intellectual bite and imaginative scope, reach fresh levels of poetic – and ecological – awareness. Sometimes reminiscent of Wallace Stevens, sometimes of Christopher Dewdney, and with the ghost of Foucault always in attendance, they ply a language that is cool and precise on the surface to open into the deep resonance of geologic time. Imaginative and contemplative, this writing is bound to refresh the vision of the most world-weary reader.

For some time, we expected
the end of the world
to be a mushroom.
A vengeful good, a good
of fire, clouded thought.
But every spring they come out of the ground
like universal suffrage,
a writ of habeas corpus,
speech before writing.
They say, dirt. They say, get up.

from “The Good, part I”

The poems in Kingdom, Phylum push the boundaries of thought and language. Bringing lyrical and unsystematic modes of understanding into play, and keeping his ear tuned to the many disruptions involved in taxonomical arrangement, Dickinson shows how poetry both participates in, and unsettles, the provisional orders which develop between word and world.

“… a poet intensely, intricately, and metaphorically engaged with the world, the natural world in particular.” League of Canadian Poets website

“…Dickinson’s poems are luminous, subtle, and exceptional.” Books in Canada

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About the Author

Adam Dickinson is a professor of poetry and poetics at Brock University. His first book, Cartography and Walking, was shortlisted for an Alberta Book Award. He lives in St. Catharines.  

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Additional Info

  • ISBN: 1894078543
  • ISBN-13: 9781894078542
  • Pages: 80
  • Year: 2006
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.75 x 0.25 in
  • Category: ,
  • Cover Art:

    Loup-table by Victor Brauner, 1939-1947

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