20 December 2005

A Bit of a Pain in the Ass

71(+) for GB: an anthology
for George Bowering.

Eds Jean Baird, David W McFadden, and George Stanley.
130 pages, designed and printed by Coach House Press
$20 Canadian plus shipping
order from jeanbaird@shaw.ca

A celebration of George Bowering (an honourary Prince George poet) and his 70th birthday. Proceeds from the book go to a deserving writer and shit-disturber in Oliver, BC.

Well, I’ll buy that!

As Margaret Avison so justly puts “he has become a necessity.” Bowering has become an institution, a literary watershed all to himself. And yet, behind his booming voice, his craggy hick style, his generosity, and his humour keep him real.

This book is as enigmatic, erratic, multi-faceted, and grumpy as its subject/object of affection. A testament to decades of ideas and drinking, poets young and historic appear here. Atwood and Cohen make brief cameos with throw-away pieces. Of the established poetry crowd it is Fred Wah, Daphne Marlatt, George Stanley, Barry McKinnon (pg), Ken Belford (pg), Nicole Brossard, Lisa Robertson, Roy Miki, Erin Mouré, and Charles Bernstein that steal the show. They all write about writing. I quickly got sick of baseball (George, it’s a lame ass sport anyway). But the best thing about the book is all the newer/younger writers in it. The spill-over from Bowerings watershed bulwark.

Find this book—it will be hard to get—‘cause it’s a keeper.


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