01 July 2015

A Hamburger in a Gallery — the first review; the last?

I'm grateful to rob mclennan for blogging about my latest poetry collection, A Hamburger in a Gallery. I appreciate that he recognized the broad range of work. That whole book is about eclecticism, perhaps more so than any of my previous books. rob writes: "Ross’ poetics shift from the surreal to the straightforward, from the concrete to the downright meditative and philosophical, as well as through a strange humour, self-aware and even ironic sadness, and sense of deep loss that permeate much of the collection."

This is the first review of Hamburger, and I can't help but wonder if it'll be the last. I've noticed that I've been getting progressively fewer reviews of my poetry books. It might be the fact that there are fewer venue for poetry reviews, especially in print. It might be that my books have become increasingly confounding. It might be that I'm of much less interest than I used to be, when my books were being reviewed in the Globe or the Star. (Though I'm also aware I am very fortunate to have ever been reviewed in the dailies!)

It's been a very strange book to read from. Each time I've presented from it, at a launch or a reading, it's felt like a crapshoot. But last night, for example, at my Cobourg launch, I was amazed at how open (most of) the audience was; they weren't all poetry fanatics, like you might get in a Toronto or Vancouver audience. But they stayed with me as I wandered from one-word poems, to faux translations, to whatever else I found in those pages of this book of experiments.

My next collection, coming out in spring of 2016, is going to be an entirely different animal. It may be my most coherent poetry book yet. It's my attempt at a mainstream collection; I thought that might be a fun experiment. But I'm grateful to editor/poet/friend Jason Camlot and DC Books for kicking my two weirdest collections — Hamburger and Dead Cars in Managua — out into the world.

Over and out.


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