The Poetry of Phil Hall, a Selected Collage
Paper 86 pp.
Online discount: 25%
Increasingly known as the “poet’s poet,” Governor General’s Award–winner Phil Hall has long been a constructor of intricate sequences, collecting and arranging lines and phrases, artifacts, and small revelations. He writes on influences, literary and local; he writes of rural Ontario, attempting to comprehend a deeply personal family violence; he stitches together lines and tall tales and fables from his life and the stories that float around the ethos of his variety of Ontario wilds. Hall’s isn’t a poetry carved into perfect diamond form but a poetry whittled from scores of found materials pulled apart and rearranged. This volume is not so much a “selected poems” as it is a reshuffle, a sampler from the span of Hall’s published work. Guthrie Clothing is a collage-selection by Hall. Lines, stanzas, and poem-fragments are reworked and patterned into a new sequence, a fresh structure.
The afterword consists of an important new essay-poem by Hall as well. It argues against irony from a rural perspective and amounts to Hall’s ars poetica. In an encompassing introduction, rob mclennan explores Hall’s four-plus decades of bricolage.
Phil Hall won the 2011 Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry in English and the 2012 Trillium Book Award for his book of essay-poems Killdeer. His most recent publications are The Small Nouns Crying Faith (2013), Notes from Gethsemani (2014), and Essay on Legend (2014). He lives near Perth, Ontario.
rob mclennan is the author of nearly thirty books of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, an editor and a publisher. His most recent include notes and dispatches: essays (2014), The Uncertainty Principle: stories (2014), and the poetry collection If suppose we are a fragment (2014).