Tag Archives: Shearsman Books

Shearsman Books to publish Looms

Shearsman Books rocks my world — again! Like my previous collection (Sonnets), Looms will appear from Shearsman, a UK literary press that publishes about sixty new titles per year.

Poets who have published with Shearsman include Mark Scroggins, Maxine Chernoff, Tony Lopez, anne blonstein, Carrie Etter, Joseph Massey, Lisa Samuels, Eileen Tabios, Tom Clark, Anne Gorrick, Michael Heller, and Scott Thurston, to name only a few.

Among Canadian poets, Erin Mouré has published three books of translations of the poetry of Chus Pato for Shearsman.

I’m in fierce company.

Unless predictions of Doomsday 2012 come true, Looms will loom on the horizon in fall 2012.


Camille Martin

Trains & poetry were meant to be (fall readings)


I have a great fall lineup of readings, starting with Grey Borders in St. Catharines, Ontario, on Friday, September 23 – two weeks from today.

I’ll be reading with Shannon Maguire, Aisha Sasha John, and Zorras Multimedia Troupe—a treat to be reading with these terrific poets! And many thanks to Eric Schmaltz and the Niagara Artist Centre for making this event happen.

Then on to Toronto, Ottawa, Kingston, Washington DC, and New York.

I’ll have copies of Codes of Public Sleep and Sonnets at each stop on the tours, but if you’d like to get a copy now, just go to my website, which lists clickable vendors for these books.

I’m doing all these trips by VIA Rail and Amtrak. There’s nothing better for writing than a window seat on a train . . .


Camille Martin

Camille Martin, Beatriz Hausner, and Claire Lacey at AvantGarden (Toronto)

Please join Beatriz Hausner, Claire Lacey, and me next Tuesday, June 7, for our AvantGarden reading at The Ossington (Toronto).

I’ll read never-before-aired poems from my new manuscript “Looms.” Copies of my recently-published Sonnets (Shearsman Books, 2010) will be available for purchase.

A big thanks to hosts Liz Howard and Shannon Maguire!

Time: Tuesday, June 7, 6:30 pm—9:30 pm
Location: The Ossington (61 Ossington Avenue, Toronto)

Beatriz Hausner’s (Toronto, ON) poetry is rooted in the legacy of international surrealism, especially its Spanish American expression. Hausner’s extensive work as a translator has focused on the writers of that literature, including Rosamel del Valle, Enrique Molina, Olga Orozco, César Moro, the poets of Mandrágora, among many others. Hausner’s work has been anthologized and published in journals both in Canada and internationally, in French, Spanish and Portuguese translation. Recent publications of her poetry include: The Wardrobe Mistress (2003), Towards the Ideal Man Poems (2003), The Stitched Heart (2004), The Archival Stone (2005) and Sew Him Up (2010). Hausner is one of the publishers of Quattro Books (www.quattrobooks.ca). She works as a public librarian in Toronto.

Camille Martin, a Toronto poet, is the author of three books of poetry: Sonnets, Codes of Public Sleep, and Sesame Kiosk. Her work has been widely and internationally published in journals and translated into Spanish and German. Her current works in progress are “Looms,” a collection of layered narratives, and “The Evangeline Papers,” a poetic sequence based on her Cajun/Acadian heritage.

Claire Lacey blogs as poetactics. Claire studied English language and literature at Glendon College then headed west to cause a ruckus as a patagrad at the University of Calgary, where she writes poetry about linguistics and birds and bridges. Claire spent the last year working as writer-in-residence at a Calgary high school to convince students that poetry isn’t boring. Claire is poetry editor of Dandelion magazine.


 


 

Camille Martin

Sonnets “torqued high”


Check out this new and excellent review of Sonnets by Marianne Villanueva in Galatea Resurrects #16.

Villanueva’s take: Sonnets is “rigorous and uncompromising . . . intellectually fearsome . . . torqued high.”

Click here for links to distributors that carry Sonnets.

 


 

Camille Martin

Poetic Polyphony in Scott Thurston’s Internal Rhyme

Shearsman Books, 2010


          In a previous post on musicality in poetry, I discussed the translation of simultaneity in music into a comparable literary expression. By simultaneity in music I mean polyphony, the vertical dimension of notes on the staff: the notes in a chord sound simultaneously as do the voices in a fugue. In literature, polyphony can be suggested by the simultaneity of thoughts, dialogue, or action by characters, as in the eight voices of the fugue in Joyce’s Ulysses.
          Scott Thurston’s Internal Rhyme beautifully translates the melodic and harmonic dimensions of music into poetry. The spatial division of each poem into quadrants allows both a horizontal (melodic) and a vertical (harmonic) reading of the lines. The vertical resonates with the horizontal, and the dialogue between melody and harmony opens up the semantic field. To use another musical analogy, what emerges from this dialogue is harmonic overtones, the acoustic phenomenon that enriches the experience of music.
          Because the most startling aspect of this collection is its formal innovation, I’d like to focus on possible strategies for the reader. Here’s an example from Internal Rhyme:

                    what I give myself to            haunted by surface
                    a polished shine                    or cloudy patina
                    it takes art to maintain         a perpetual crisis
                    taking everything                  you have

                    I want to give                        my heart out
                    to your ideal world                in its tension
                    I have to wait                        for the memory
                    for the poem                          to make it right

          At first blush, the possibilities presented by the quadrants seemed to me a kind of combinatorics, a conceptual experiment that reminded me a little of Raymond Queneau’s Cent mille milliards de poèmes, a series of ten sonnets whose interchangeable lines offer to the reader an almost inexhaustible series of permutations—to be mathematically precise, one hundred trillion sonnets can be generated from the conceptual machine of the ten original sonnets. Queneau’s Oulipian experiment stretches the limits of the readability of the set of ten sonnets in all of their permutations—an impossibly large number sonnets for the mortal reader to consume.
          In the case of Thurston’s quadrants, three obvious possibilities occurred to me: line-by-line (horizontally), left column-right column (vertically), and four vertical columns (left, right, left, right). But there was something disasatisfying about treating each of these readings equally, so I needed to find a more natural way to integrate the horizontal with the vertical. It occurred to me that treating the page as a musical score gave me a more rewarding entry into the intricacies suggested by the quadrants. In other words, I read the poem as horizontal (melodic) lines and allow my peripheral vision, so to speak, to note vertical (harmonic) configurations of three or four lines that enrich the reading, perhaps turning the poem on itself or opening up other semantic possibilities.
          First, my conscious mind gravitates toward a traditional line-by-line reading—partly from habit and partly because the syntactical flow of the poems in Internal Rhyme is most apparent that way. For example, in the above poem, although there’s no punctuation, my mind readily creates syntactical clusters and sentences from a horizontal reading.
          Note also the division into two equal parts that such a reading suggests: “what I give myself to” opens the first stanza, and “I want to give” opens the second. Metapoetically, the poem juxtaposes the poet’s experience and perception (what he gives himself to) with his translation of that experience into poetry (his desire to give himself over to the tension in the ideal world of the poem: the “perpetual crisis” that poetry sustains). The last two lines constitute the poem’s volta, in this case the condition upon which that translation into poetry is contingent: waiting for his memory of tension within his own experience.
          But the spatial division of the poem into quadrants compels me to notice the vertical possibilities as well. In the above poem, for example, a horizontal reading yields

              I have to wait / for the memory / for the poem / to make it right

whereas a vertical reading might yield

              I have to wait / for the poem / for the memory / to make it right

          Thus waiting for the memory of tension (in the previous reading) is aligned with waiting for the poem to emerge for the memory to “make it right.” The boundaries between experience, memory and poetic creation are thus nicely blurred into a riddle: is it unresolved memory that drives the poem into creation, or the poem’s creation that illuminates cognitive mysteries?
          Such an overlay of readings expands the poem exponentially as the mind picks up, consciously or subconsciously, variations in the configurations of lines. Reading the poems in this way allows me to blend the melodic and the harmonic dimensions to create a kind of polyphonic experience. To return to a musical analogy, the intricate texture of this overlay is like the harmonic overtones that enrich the experience of music.
          The analogies between music and poetry are ancient, and the innovative musicality of Internal Rhyme offers a richly legible and resonant kind of poetic polyphony.

* * *

From the Shearsman Books website:
Scott Thurston lectures at the University of Salford where he runs a Masters in Innovative and Experimental Creative Writing. He co-runs The Other Room reading series in Manchester, edits The Radiator, a little magazine of poetics, and co-edits The Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry with Robert Sheppard. He has published three collections with Shearsman.



Camille Martin

Sonnets – European reading tour

Vulcan is cooperating for now, so my reading tour in the UK, Ireland, and Paris to celebrate the publication of my new book Sonnets by the fabulous Shearsman Books is on. A recent review and ordering information follows the itinerary below. If you are going to be in any of these places, please come!

London, England
7:30 pm, Tuesday, May 4
Shearsman Reading Series
Swedenborg Hall, Swedenborg House / 20/21 Bloomsbury Way
Readers: Camille Martin (publisher’s launch of Sonnets) and Alasdair Paterson

Bangor, Wales
7:30 pm, Thursday, May 6
Blue Sky Cafe / High Street
A triple launch – Camille Martin’s Sonnets, Ian Davidson’s Into Thick Hair, and the new issue of Poetry Wales

St. Helier, Isle of Jersey
8:00 pm, Saturday, May 8
PoAttic Reading Series
The Attic in the Jersey Opera House

Cork, Ireland
Monday, May 10
6:30 – 8:00 pm: workshop
9:00 pm: reading
Ó Bhéal Reading Series / The Long Valley

Salford, England
6:00 – 8:00 pm, Tuesday, May 11
University of Salford
Two-hour session with students in the MA in Creative Writing program

Paris, France
7:30 pm, Tuesday, May 18
Ivy Writers Reading Series
Le Next / 17 rue Tiqutonne, Paris

A recent review of Sonnets by rob mclennan:

There are so few that seem to know how to bring something new to an often-used form that when it happens, it’s worth noting, and such is the case with Toronto poet Camille Martin in her second trade poetry collection, Sonnets (Exeter, England: Shearsman Books, 2010). Martin, an American relocated north after Hurricane Katrina, writes with the most wonderful sense of clarity, thought and play in these poems . . .

Read the entire review here

See the Shearsman webpage for ordering information, or go straight to SPD.

Cheers!
Camille Martin

rob mclennan reviews Sonnets

There are so few that seem to know how to bring something new to an often-used form that when it happens, it’s worth noting, and such is the case with Toronto poet Camille Martin in her second trade poetry collection, Sonnets (Exeter, England: Shearsman Books, 2010). Martin, an American relocated north after Hurricane Katrina, writes with the most wonderful sense of clarity, thought and play in these poems, and with a flavour . . . (read more)