poems by Emily McGiffin
ISBN 1-897141-66-1, 9781897141663
Subduction Zone is a book of meditations on empire — the desires and agendas of empire, and empire’s detritus. From a sweeping panorama of imperial landscapes both classical and modern, it carries us into the troubled natural beauty of the Philippines. Its third and final sequence brings Canadians home, to the manifestations of global technocracy in northwest BC. | | Whether contemplating rain forests in the Visayan Islands or Edward Burtynsky’s photographs, these poems gaze unflinchingly at the exploitation and upheaval that define several millennia of global politics. Their questions are both urgent and intricate. Who are we individually, collectively, in this era of looming ecological collapse? How do we acknowledge the blood on our hands yet bear witness to the beauty that remains? Pteropod is a collection of great integrity and ambition: trenchant, political, shot through with ravishing eroticism and tenderness. Emily McGiffin is poised to become one of the major voices in Canadian poetry.
During the five years that Emily McGiffin lived in northwest BC, she became proficient in the fine art of firewood splitting. She holds an MSc from the University of London and has worked and studied in Italy, Sierra Leone and the Philippines. Her poetry, essays, reviews and journalistic articles, widely published in magazines across Canada, have most recently appeared in Arc Poetry Magazine and Contemporary Verse 2. Between Dusk and Night, her first poetry collection, was a finalist for the Raymond Souster Award and the Canadian Authors’ Association Poetry Prize. She currently lives in Toronto where she is a PhD student at York University.
NEWS: Emily McGiffin’s Subduction Zone has been nominated for the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment’s Environmental Creative Writing Book Award. The mission of ASLE is to inspire and promote intellectual work in the environmental humanities and arts. Nominees of this year’s book award will be received at a June 2015 conference at the University of Idaho, in Moscow, Idaho. The judges for the book award were Ross Gay, Scott Knickerbocker and Joni Tevis. Here is an endorsement of Subduction Zone by one of the judges:
“McGiffin’s poetry startles and provokes, even as it pleases and draws me in. Impressively, she takes on subject matter as immense as empire— its power over us yet vulnerability to self-destruction— and makes it vivid, personal and immediate.”
Congratulations, Emily, from Pedlar Press.