Friday, October 5, 2007

Return to Open Water

Brand new today, here it is, just come in the door ten minutes ago, the best of twenty-nine years of poetry. These are the poems that I have read over and over again across the country, all put in one beautiful new book, just in time for my move to Vancouver Island and the sea. Included as well are a selection of new poems that beg to be read out loud.

Return to Open Water: New and Selected Poems

In one of the boxes that makes the maze of my new study is my scanner, so, yes, what you see is a copy of the proof of the cover, not the cover itself.

I raise a toast!

Here's what Ronsdale Press has to say about the whole affair:

Return to Open Water: Poems New & Selected
By Harold Rhenisch

To Harold Rhenisch, poetry is a wisdom path equal to Zen, or a pilgrimage on the holy road from Seville to Minsk. Here is a breadth of musicality ranging from solo piano improvisations to jazz quartets, klezmer music, music hall, and even operatic arias. In this spirited celebration of the creative spirit, Rhenisch presents a vision of the world that places Canada, and poetry, at the crossroads of world culture. Included are a hymn for whales, a love poem for herring, black-comic stagings of Shakespeare, tongue-in-cheek deconstructions and celebrations of philosophy and literature, laments for the missteps of history, enraged political blasts, and deep ecological lyrics. Mozart enters riding the bulls into the Williams Lake Stampede, and a rhinestoned Jesus sings Elvis lyrics on a car hoist at Canadian Tire. In Return to Open Water this award-winning poet, critic, and cultural critic fuses American, British and European verse traditions into a poetics able to reimagine literature and history and return them to us in illuminated form. Long-praised for his innovative creative nonfiction and his mastery of the long poem form, in this volume Rhenisch presents the roots of that intelligence and its furthest extensions. This "New & Selected" presents the best poems — comical, elegiac, satiric and lyrical — from the twelve volumes of verse of one of Canada's best, most original, and most mercurial poets.

"Everything past and present composts in this rich collection of poetry which feeds the roots of the trees Harold Rhenisch persuades into a cathedral shape. This book, a temple with a sweet grass floor, raised voices, echoes, soaring spires and the blessing of rain, is the organic church of poetry." — Linda Rogers

Since 1982 Harold Rhenisch has published twelve books of poetry, a book of essays, a novel and four books of creative nonfiction. He holds degrees in Creative Writing from the University of Victoria and the University of British Columbia, and has won the Petch Prize, the Arc Poem of the Year Award, the Confederation Poets' Prize, the Critic’s Desk Award, and twice the Malahat Review's Long Poem Prize. With Ronsdale he published Out of the Interior (0-921870-42-6), Taking the Breath Away (0-921870-55-8) and Free Will (978-1-55380-013-2). Born on an apple orchard in the Similkameen Valley, he now makes his home in Campbell River, BC.

And here are the specs:

Ronsdale Press, 2007
ISBN-10: 1-55380-049-4
ISBN-13: 978-1-55380-049-1

6 x 9 150 pp
trade paper

$21.95 CDN
$19.95 US