Argo Featured Reading #15: Sarah Burgoyne, Stephanie Bolster and Rachel Lebowitz

Sarah Burgoyne’s poetry is at once a voice of animistic lyricism, but doubles as the honest and often humorous accounts of someone searching for the poem within common tribulations. “I have the problem of falling in love with everyone” she writes in one poem. Her work, whether viscerally or intentionally, recalls a wide range of great writers with her own personal touch, from the mythological anthologization of Robert Bringhurst to the comical turns of Charles Simic.

A 24-year-old poet from BC, she is currently completing her MA at Concordia University. Ladies and gentlemen, Sarah Burgoyne.

The English botanist Carolus Linnaeus of the 18th century once wrote that “nature does not proceed by leaps and bounds”. The same cannot be said Stephanie Bolster’s A Page From the Wonders of Life on Earth. From greenhouse to aviary, the sheen of a leaf to the eye of a sparrow, Bolster has imbued her most recent collection with a microcosmic quality that moves in densely-packed, almost terse lines.
For this host, though it might seem paltry to say it, this book mirrors the natural world’s myriad qualities and capabilities in how it both confounds and astounds with the slightest of minutiae. As the poem Lingua Botanica reads, even the poet herself experiences this sense of being awe-struck: “Look at this, what I found, listen. Smell this flower of no-scent… / My kingdom for what it might mean.”

Author of 4 books of poetry, many chapbooks, and an editor of many more anthologies, ladies and gentlemen: Stephanie Bolster.

Tonight marks the release date of our next reader’s book:

Culled from a wide range of histories surrounding the Industrial Revolution, Rachel Lebowitz’s Cottonopolis is more than a series of prose and poetry; its parts combined form a single globetrotting poem, from the slavery of the Americas to the colonization of India. Rather than proffering strict, bald-faced reiterations of textbooks, Lebowitz’s work grants access to this period through careful selections of song and story, including lyrics, ephemera, and the intimate (even previously confidential) accounts dating as far back as the late 17th century. It sets before us a grisly reflection of the minorities and children who constitute the sacrifices that predate our own modern context; a reflection that reveals not only the hands that laid our cornerstones, but the eyes that watched it happen.

Author of the poetic biography Hannus and co-author of the children’s story Anything But Hank!, ladies and gentlemen, Rachel Lebowitz.

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