Sina Queyras

if you open your mouth, ache.


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Shannon Webb-Campbell on MxT

MxT by Sina Queyras
By Shannon Webb-Campbell
Telegraph-Journal
April 25 2014

Nothing is large enough to hold grief. Even language fails to contain it. Sina Queyras proposes a formula for grieving in her latest collection MxT, or Memory x Time, what could be this year’s most devastating and enlightening Canadian poetry collection. Known as Lemon Hound in her online avatar, Queyras is a poet of tremendous weight. Her might is found in every line. In the opening poem, “Water, Water, Everywhere,” she writes, “I don’t want a theory; I want the poem inside me. I want the poem to unfurl like a thousand monks chanting inside me.”

Grief hollows. Loss guts. Queyras’ fragments momentarily alleviate the burden, and offer poetic embodiment. While grief shatters our internal mosaic, Queyras attempts to restore pieces. Gives nourishment. These poems not only mourn the dead, they engage with the unnameable, unknowable ocean of loss. This is memory, divided, categorized and turned over. This is a form becoming a formula. This is poetry at its purest. This is a place to hold, and be held.

Queyras navigates the land mines of memory, death and loss, and shifts perspective with diagrams. Throughout, she invokes conversation with other poets and theorists, eliciting both the engineers of language and science. In several elegies – “Sylvia Plath’s Elegy for Sylvia Plath, Elegy for my Father’s Labour, Elegy for a Lost Brother” etc. – Queyras invites readers to reflect on how the lineage of loss has its own memory, time and feeling. Queyras swims in the pools of theory, only to abandon intellectualism and declare that grief’s unquenchable thirst is emotionality.


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Review at The Rumpus

Very pleased and honoured by this review from Julie Enzer over at The Rumpus, contextualizing my work in a lineage of feminist poetry that I have long respected, embraced, and nodded at, but never taken on directly as a lineage or as an identity. I should talk about that more some time–why the reticence to something so obvious now. I resist being pigeon-holed in all ways I guess, not just aesthetically. In any case, here is the review. It’s unabashedly positive, something I rarely illicit from reviewers and again, I am thankful for that too. Not all reviews need to leave their little wounds.


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Ottawa, April 26

I’ll be coming your way soon, Ottawa. Come to the poetry cabaret. 

Ottawa’s own Stephen Brockwell hosts an evening of stellar poetry.

 

Old Hat is the third book of poetry and first collection of occasional poems by Governor General and Trillium Awards nominee, Rob Winger. Driven by an attempt to understand how to reorder common experience, the book’s transitional sections – “Set,” “Re/Set,” and “Lect” – all intertwine and overlap, thematically and intuitively linked by the extensive range and depth of Winger’s poetics.

 

MxT, or “Memory x Time,” is one of the formulas acclaimed poet Sina Queyras posits as a way to measure grief. These poems mourn the dead by turning memories over and over like an old coin, by invoking other poets, by appropriating the language of technology, of instruction, of diagram, of electrical engineering, and of elegy itself. 

 

Award-winning poet Adam Sol‘s fourth collection, Complicity, is by turns intimate and lyrical, experimental and outlandish. The collection focuses us on how we cannot escape the troubling structures that determine our lives. How do we identify ourselves with communities – national, cultural, or local – while aware of the violence which underlies their arrangements? How do we pursue love when we know how fraught and imbalanced gender politics is? 

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