Tag Archives: Shearsman Books

On Cross-Pollination: An interview with Camille Martin by James Pickersgill

My “world premiere” of Looms will be in Cobourg, Ontario, about an hour’s train ride east of Toronto.

Poet James Pickersgill put together some thought-provoking interview questions in advance of the reading. Below is a sample, and the complete interview can be found here.

Q – Camille, it is not at all true that poetry is your single creative outlet. You are known as a collage artist, too. You are an editor yourself … and a translator. Your own work has been translated into other languages as well. You have been a university teacher. You’ve organized poetry reading series. You’ve had radio shows and you blog actively on the internet. When listed like that, these activities might sound like an array of separate pigeon-holes but I suspect that there is a lot of cross-pollination, so to speak. What is the nature of this creativity as you experience it: one spark that finds many openings to jump into flame, or, can it be distinct and separate creative impetuses?

Camille Martin – I love the idea of cross-pollination. In fact, I think my primary creative impulse is to bring together: to merge or to juxtapose. It’s the basic impetus for the metaphor: to bring unlike things into dialogue. And for me, that goes for disciplines as well. I was reading and seeking out poetry on my own from an early age, though I didn’t begin writing it in earnest until my late 30s. But my first creative expression was musical – I was trained as a classical pianist since I was six years old, and I went on to get a graduate degree in piano performance. I was also intensely interested in visual art. I’ve always felt a desire to bring the arts together. So now, in the autumn of my life, I have the pleasure of doing all three: making collages, writing poetry, and setting my poetry to music. I think these disciplines are sparking conversations among each another.


Camille Martin

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LOOMS now at SPD

Always happy when my books arrive at Small Press Distribution!

Poetry. The title of LOOMS signifies the weaving tool as well as the shadowing appearance of something. These “woven tales” were inspired by Barbara Guest’s statement that a tale “doesn’t tell the truth about itself; it tells us what it dreams about.” The strands of their surreal allegories converse, one idea giving rise to another, and the paths of their dialogue become the fabric of the narrative. In a second meaning, something that looms remains in a state of imminent arrival. Such are these tales, like parables with infinitely deferred lessons.

“In tightly woven tapestry, Martin’s ‘backstreet songs’ re-invent a music of knowledge that navigates the hucksterism and catastrophe threatening our planet. The movement of her threads is fugue-like, punctuated by oboes and clarinets, mockingbirds and cicadas. Here, in the dream-space of time-lapse film, forms of life and ideas collide and morph, rippling through centuries of human consciousness to unravel as quickly as they ravel. Here, above all, Martin makes it possible to dance among our ‘origins in snake oil,’ our ‘crusades to mirages’ and our ‘accidental fictions’.”—Meredith Quartermain

“A dreamscape on the outskirts of town, ‘in the badlands of the vernacular,’ these hopeful, haunted poems populated by children and prisoners ‘hover between’ realms domestic and exterior, real and imagined. Like candles described herein, this book gives off a melting, tactile glow.”—Arielle Greenberg


Camille Martin

A box full of the mysterious woman playing blindman’s bluff among neurons

click image for Shearsman Books page for Looms

My box of Looms has arrived, and copies distributed to five Goodreads winners.

Shearsman Books has a pdf sample as well as a handy list of links where you can order the book.

Many thanks to Tony Frazer, publisher extraordinaire of Shearsman Books.

May the poems in Looms bring you pleasure!


Camille Martin

Enter at Goodreads for free copy of Looms

As the official publication date of Looms nears, I registered the book for the Goodreads giveaway. It’s free to enter, and at the end date I’ll mail copies to the winners (selected by Goodreads using some algorithm that’s beyond my poetry-addled brain to fathom) . . .

Click the image below to enter at Goodreads:


Cheers!


Camille Martin

Looms now available: check for pre-order discounts

Looms, my fourth book of poetry, is now available for pre-order from your favourite bookstore and online sources.

At the bottom of the Shearsman Books page is a convenient clickable list so you can choose your preferred source and compare prices—you may wish to check for pre-order discounts (The Book Depository has one, last time I checked).

Looms is my second title published by Shearsman Books, and I couldn’t be happier with the way it came out. The cover features one of my collages, Blind Man’s Bluff, and the publisher, Tony Frazer, did a beautiful job (as usual) designing and producing the book.

Publisher’s description of Looms:
The title of Looms signifies the weaving tool as well as the shadowing appearance of something. These “woven tales” were inspired by Barbara Guest’s statement that a tale “doesn’t tell the truth about itself; it tells us what it dreams about.” The strands of their surreal allegories converse, one idea giving rise to another, and the paths of their dialogue become the fabric of the narrative. In a second meaning, something that looms remains in a state of imminent arrival. Such are these tales, like parables with infinitely deferred lessons.


Camille Martin

“Their species is finally getting somewhere . . .”: Angel House Press (National Poetry Month)

Another poem from my forthcoming Looms (Shearsman Books) has been selected for a National Poetry Month series:

click to link to the poem at Angel House Press

Thanks to Amanda Earl, poet and publisher of Angel House Press!


Camille Martin

The Toronto Quarterly: “perfidy shows up with its pleasant molecules”

A poem from my upcoming collection, Looms, kicks off The Toronto Quarterly’s National Poetry Month parade. Thanks to Darryl Salach!

Click to see TTQ.


Camille Martin