ms. hunter, i salute you

Aislinn Hunter is currently my favourite Vancouver-based poet (she teaches creative writing at Kwantlen). her two poetry collection are damn good, and she keeps getting better as she goes along.

her books, Into the Early Hours and The Possible Past are available in my Vancouver lending library (as is a second copy of The Possible Past that my mom won as an iamb event door prize - in her Port Moody lending library).

anyway, i'm writing this now because i finally found a site that's posted some of her poems (granted, i wasn't looking terribly hard, but still: what's with all the poem-hoarding? it's as though people think they can turn a profit off these things...). the posting, a feature on Hunter, is part of Arc Poetry's Scotland-Canada exchange project, and includes a very good introduction of her work, by John Burnside. an excerpt:

At this point in our history—in human, rather than natural history—the most urgent questions are ecological: questions about how we dwell in the world, questions about what we leave for our children, questions about “quality of life” in the most urgent sense. Yet, strangely, the most effective tool we have to defend the environment—from ourselves—is not polemic, or statistics. What matters is that we stop taking the world for granted and begin to see where it is we live. What matters is that we find a new way of thinking about, and feeling, and appreciating the world. This new way of thinking depends, not upon understanding and so taking possession of everything we experience and encounter, but upon making space for the mystery—making space, and participating, in all humility, in a Being that is, as Sartre says, haunted by nothingness. Reading Aislinn Hunter, I find a poet committed to that quest: a quest, not for authenticity, so much as immediacy, a quest to partake of the eternal through a more vivid engagement with time.

after Brunside's write-up are three of Hunter's poems - "The Story as I See It" has been one of my favourites since I first encountered it, and her "Barriers" sequence is downright incredible (though i don't believe that the section selected is the strongest).

hell, enough babbling by me. check it out yourself.

p.s. thanks to this wicked book for the subject line.

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