Afraid to be alone / we met by lamplight, trading stories: // Sin of Man was one, // Age of Science, another. More // prayers than answers. Daniel Cowper’s debut poetry collection, Grotesque Tenderness, speaks for an unrooted age, for unrooted people. In these poems, city-dwellers long to ally themselves with some sympathetic culture or the evolutionary logic of nature, but those alliances remain conditional, ambiguous, or dangerous. A tsunami smashes a harbour city into “tide-rows of burning debris”; children chase snakes in summer meadows. The primordial past spins off “rogue by-products and flawed replicas,” while lonely office workers get high on back porches and drink themselves to sleep. The musical and kinetic energy of Grotesque Tenderness is driven by our urge to understand pain and our hunger to reach an imperfect reconciliation with the problems of guilt and suffering. But in the tradition of William Blake, these poems affirm again and again that “the lit / world goes on living” and life justifies itself through its own workings. From elegant lyrics of alienation and heartbreak to long-form mythopoeia and lament, these poems approach beauty, ugliness, even criminality in a spirit of wonder and vulnerability. Daniel Cowper’s poems have appeared in various Canadian and international publications, and he is the author of the chapbook The God of Doors. He lives on Bowen Island. an orientation of thought in thinking how a / thought begins and then travels on to arrive / at another place connected and like-minded A work of art is never entirely present in itself but rather is always at large in the mind of the viewer. So it is that a painting needs to know the simplest ques- tion those viewing it are asking themselves. From the intimate starting point of observer and observed, Carson’s seductive, exhilarating new collection turns poetry and paintings, making and representation, language and thought on their heads. “What happens when we experience a work of art? The poems in Edward Carson’s stunningly original collection explore the intricate patterns of com- munication and response that unfold when we look at paintings, respond to music, read poems. Rather than simply cataloguing the works’ contents, Carson recreates their dynamics and takes us inside them. The wonderful phrase he applies to a Miró painting, ‘a rhetoric / of exuberant spaces,’ is descriptive of Look Here Look Away Look Again itself, and it is matched by a rhetoric of exuberant language that takes such supposedly unpoetic words as ‘phenotype,’ ‘quantum,’ or ‘algorithm’ and brings them to life. At the same time, Carson revitalizes that time-worn form, the sonnet sequence – for that is what this collection is, when you ‘look again’ – and weaves it together with recurrent twilit glimpses of birds, moon, and stars. Readers of Look Here Look Away Look Again will be looking in delight, again and again.” John Reibetanz, award-winning poet, author of By Hand Edward Carson, writer and photographer, is twice winner of the E.J. Pratt Medal in Poetry and author most recently of Knots, Birds Flock Fish School, and Taking Shape. He lives in Toronto. 1 0 M Q U P S P R I N G 2 0 1 9 S P E C I F I C AT I O N S vu0 @d:u (o$O088o8 I90r2f c02t03 April 2019 -5,7a755pl7lns57a 4Sni-lv bAU1 4Sni-lv Dc1 kSsi-- 6o602 l B 5il Sna66 0g99T omot.oN.0 Grotesque Tenderness daniel cowper Resonant poems that find beauty in intimate failures and regrets. P O E T R Y S P E C I F I C AT I O N S vu0 @d:u (o$O088o8 I90r2f c02t03 April 2019 -5,7a755pl7lnsn7p 4Sni-lv bAU1 4Sni-lv Dc1 kSsi-- 6o602 l B 5il SSs66 0g99T omot.oN.0 Look Here Look Away Look Again edward carson To look is to fill our thoughts and consciousness with an experience of the other. P O E T R Y