author illustration by Dave Cooper
by rob mclennan
Release: Sept 2006
All rights available
Poetry (BISAC POE011000)
160 pg, 5.5 x 8.5, trade paperback
Shortlisted for the 2007 Lampman-Scott Award
• launch: Ottawa International Writers’ Festival post-festival 3-poet book launch event, 30 Oct. 2006
• author tour: Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, etc.
• Download a copy of the PDF aubade sampler.
Cover art by David Cation.
Photograph of David Cation paintings by johnwmacdonald.com.
"a book of remarkable work. As a follower of mclennan’s poetry, I am noticing growth in his writing. He’s always experimented with form and language, and these poems are no exception, but I’m finding his newest work to be more lyrical, more personal than in the past."
Amanda Earl, Ottawa Poetry
aubade is a longer poem built out of long poems, taking a page from Kroetsch’s Completed Field Notes. From the streets of Montreal and the tantric delay of a rockslide to his version of Barry McKinnon and Brian Fawcett’s “Sex at 31,” mclennan writes through travels that exist both in the world and on the empty page.
aubade translates as, or means, something like "dawn serenade".
Praise for previous books:
“What sets it apart [. . .] is not its reliance on travel, imagery, and its civic sense of poetry, but that it gets its Bank Street roast straight from the source, from Whitman, Stein, and Kerouac, and from George Bowering, king of TISH. mclennan is better than the lot, a kind of Canadian Robert Creeley, presenting us with moments to move into, like museum dioramas, incomplete until we stand in them. In mclennan, a whole tradition that has been underground in Canada for almost half a century has found a new champion.”
—Harold Rhenisch, Arc magazine
"At times mclennan scratches vertical marks in the escarpment, so a little water can seep down; otherwise he remakes its cliffs into fences. Reading these poems is to alternately watch the water drip down the cracks, magnified, and the rock shuck off all human attempts to give it signification."
Harold Rhenisch. Arc magazine, No. 55, Winter 2005, pp 115-6.
“One of the most promising voices of his generation.”
Judith Fitzgerald, Toronto Star
“post-post-post modern assemblages of silence and caught breath [...] mclennan's scritch scratch, much more concerned with the transitory world of appearances, doesn't settle down into a self, but, rather, into a gesture. There is no self. What is left in its place is a record of its passage.”
Harold Rhenisch. Arc. No. 53
From review of Bagne
“mclennan has a nimble mind. His best poems jump from image to image, leading the reader on a process of discovery. Movement is key to reading mclennan. All of his books jump with kinetic energy, and his loose form free verse weaves down the page, a visual metaphor of poet’’s own freedom. mclennan’s work doesn’t so much push against boundaries, as deny boundaries.”
Michael Bryson, The Danforth Review
"For mclennan, borders fracture like water freezing in rock cracks; we are left with rubble—narrative unanswerable in its native state—that can only be combined and not fixed (repaired or made static). mclennan daftly employs family history, ancient history, and recent event to enact an archaeology of self."
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Process Documents, fall 2004.
"mclennan has a great talent for combining clear, minimalist writing with the kind of exuberant, post-whatever excess that typifies so much of Canadas experimental poetry. [...] mclennan resists the urge to use complicated language for its own sake, a failing of much of the experimental work I see, while at the same time doing something interesting with the lyric instead of the same old same old. Lots of good jokes, which have been making their way into poetry more and more in this country over recent years."
mclennan lives in Ottawa. The author of 11 previous poetry books, including name , an errant (UK), what’s left, and red earth, his poetry, fiction and critical work have appeared in 11 countries and three languages.
mclennan is publisher of above/ground press, STANZAS magazine, the critical journal Poetics.ca and ottawater. mclennan edits the Cauldron Books series at Broken Jaw. He is also editor of Evergreen: Six New Poets and side/lines: a new canadian poetics. His online home is www.track0.com/rob_mclennan.
mclennan won the 1999 Canadian Authors’ Association/Air Canada Award for “most promising writer (in any genre) in Canada under 30.”
from “poem for a sad november”
make out where we beseech the world
& long for beautiful days
the treacheries of the day-to-day / & green earth
peat moss bog beneath the understep
& swallows, whole / sentimentality
& pale descriptions / airplanes
circle the earth like stars / satellite
& rocket fuel commence / small parcels
& arrive in even smaller positions
the one chair where my mother sits / & wont
Groundswell: The Best of above/ground press, 1993-2003
rob mclennan, editor
$24.95 CDN, $22.50 US
$18.95 CDN, $17 US
© copyright Joe Blades/Broken Jaw Press Inc. 2006.