Strangers in the wild, pt. 2

Strangers keeps doing its little thing in the world! (You can read part one here.)

Jeremy Shepherd of the Tri-Cities Dispatch published a very generous profile of me and the book.

An excerpt which got me giggling:

"He was a student at Gleneagle when a teacher presented him with the poetry of William Carlos Williams (Taylor recently cultivated a poetry nerd following on Twitter by composing numerous tweets about eating icebox plums)... Since then, poetry has become a lifelong vocation."

You can read the whole profile here.

rob mclennan, whose eponymous blog has been much linked-to here, has provided a very generous review of Strangers. A quote:

“The poems exude grief and joy, enthusiasm and fear; at times, simultaneously, as though an emotional well has found new depths. When one first begins to have children, parallels present themselves quickly, offering opportunities to reevaluate one’s own childhood, often for the first time, and in new and unexpected ways. And yet, this is a book of multiple transitions, repeatedly asking how one might get there from here, and wondering how one might survive.”

You can read the whole review here.

Joseph Planta of thecommentary.ca was kind enough to take time to interview me about the book! 

We talked about all sorts of things, including how poetry can help us explore dark territory and keep us company during difficult times.

You can listen to/download that interview here.

Lastly, I posted last week that Chris Banks had provided a thoughtful review of Strangers for The Miramichi Reader. The good news has kept coming from their site, where Strangers was just longlisted for their "The Very Best!" Book Award for Poetry (alongside amazing titles by Shaun Robinson, Evelyn Lau, and others I have yet to have a chance to read). It's a heck of an honour (I love awards that are grassroots organized and have a sense of humour about themselves!), especially as the book has yet to even be officially "launched" into the world!

That launch will take place online tomorrow (May 27th, at 7 PM EDT/ 4 PM PDT) and will feature Luke Hathaway, Sue Sinclair and Sadiqa de Meijer. You can RSVP for the event via Facebook or simply click over to the YouTube page at the correct time.

Thank you - yeesh! - to everyone who's helped support the book so far, via reviews, interviews, profiles, etc. It means so much to me!


New Strangers Review

A second review of Strangers is in! This one meant so much to me because it was written by Chris Banks, a poet whose writing and blogging have meant a lot to me (as you can see if you check out my ten Chris Banks "quotes" here on this site, which reach back over the last twelve years!). As Chris mentions in the review, Strangers features a quote from Chris' second book, The Cold Panes of Surfaces

The quote accompanies the book's dedication to my father and two brothers: "For we are who we are, and more, all that is ridden within us / in the same way our fathers are not our fathers but someone / else’s inconsolable sons" ("LaHave River, Cable Ferry").

So I suppose Chris wasn't a fully unbiased reader, nor am I a fully unbiased recipient. Chris' attention being given to my book was an absolute joy. His observation that the book focuses on "grief for a larger world that is constantly passing forever into the past" echoes one of my favourite conversations, between Stephanie Bolster and Don Coles, on the"presentiment of loss" in Coles' poetry. I hadn't realized - slow as one is to see their own work - that I was in part drawn to that conversation because I think and write in similar ways. 

You can read the whole review here: 

Huge thanks to Chris and to The Miramichi Reader for giving the book this space and attention. TMR is doing such excellent work on the other side of the country. Do check them out if you haven't before.

And if you're interested in my book, my online launch of Strangers is less than two weeks away - May 27th! You can learn more (and sign up for an email reminder) here, and RSVP via Facebook here.


Strangers in the wild!

Strangers is officially out there in the world and making things happen!

The book's first review came in, a very thoughtful, generous one courtesy of  Bryce Warnes and The Poetry Question. An excerpt:

“Taylor’s explorations of personal grief are masterful… Strangers is not “just” about grief, any more than grief is “just” about feeling sad. Throughout, we see connections between people in all their tangled, tangling glory, the movement of love running down the lines like electric pulses… Love is immanent, and so is everything else. In Strangers, Taylor welcomes us into his world with open arms.”

You can read the whole review here

I've been able to do two interview for the book, too - one audio and one in print. The spoken one was for Andrew French's Page Fright podcast. Andrew has been good to me in the past, interviewing me last year (just pre-pandemic) about Best Canadian Poetry 2019 and What the Poets Are Doing. This time we talked about the new book, and all sorts of other stuff: creating community during a pandemic, how I like to read a poetry book, my superhero origin story, etc.

You can listen to/download/subscribe to the podcast here.

My second interview was with Michael Edwards, who runs the Red Alder Review. Michael has also been good to me in the past, publishing a haiku of mine just this January. We talked about both Strangers and haiku a good deal in the interview, among other topics. Most pleasing for me, Michael's questions reached back over all four of my books, allowing me to take a bit of a long-view on my writing, and how its led me to this current book. 

You can give that interview a read here.

I've also been delighted to have Strangers appear in all thee of the Quill & QuireCBC Books and 49th Shelf's Spring book roundups, and to see photos of the book appearing here and there on social media, the highest of these honours being Vicki "BookGaga" Ziegler handwriting a poem of mine in her journal (weighed down by the famous tiny pink dumbbell!) - a long held dream for any Canadian poet on Twitter:

I hope I'll have even more updates going forward, but this has been a tremendous start so far! We still have almost a month to go until my Strangers' online launch (feat. Luke Hathaway, Sue Sinclair and Sadiqa de Meijer) and even longer until my (hopefully possible!) in-person outdoor launches in the summer. You can learn more about those here!

If you're interested in the book, I encourage you to order a copy from your local bookstore, or on the Biblioasis website (or, ok, ChaptersAmazon, etc).