“One of the most striking examples of political poetry I’ve seen in a while. … [Once in Blockadia] could easily be considered his strongest collection to date … While the three volumes (to date) that have made up his ongoing “Barricades project” – Anarchive (New Star, 2005), The Commons(Talonbooks, 2008/2014), and To the Barricades (Talonbooks, 2013) – have cohered and articulated language as an element of social action, Once in Blockadia is denser and more focused, composed as much as a cudgel and a call-to-action as a communique on or consequence of the Trans Mountain pipeline.” —rob mclennan
"Collis’s book moves beyond the scale of both Williams’s man/city and Ginsburg’s generation/nation to bring the bioregion into deep focus as both place (actually inhabited) and space (increasingly uninhabitable). Collis’s strength as a poet is his ability to hold in simultaneous suspension the descriptions of particular lifeforms and of sprawling, capitalist ecocidal apparatus … The poetic “doing” Collis does in Blockadia is already more thoroughly embedded in bioregion than is most contemporary ecopoetry. It is more fluid in its shifts of time, scale, and system, and readier to spill off the page into practice."
— Boston Review
“Collis is mindful of the entwined nature of historical events and our emotional attachments to the places that we share or defend. … Once in Blockadia is a valuable book for allies, poets, and scholars … Collis’ work represents a nascent ecopoetics of place for the twenty-first century. I was immediately touched by it; my first impulse was to recommend it to close friends and to colleagues invested in the troublesome and shifting language of emplacement.”
—William V. Lombardi, for Canadian Literature
“This book lives in Realms Ecological and is … somewhat punk about it. Once in Blockadiais uniform in concern, but not in technique or style. … These are militantly humane texts about climate disaster … Collis is working with the postmodern lyric. His most common syntactical gambit is a jaunty, conversational line that is then crashed into by one boiled down, deeply overstressed. We bounce along then jam: jerk: stick: recommence. It’s a lively, effective tactic. … A sad, angry, critical, noble book is Blockadia.”
—Contemporary Verse 2
“Once in Blockadia is the anvil we’ve been waiting for. Political and ecological, civil and riotous, Stephen Collis has crafted work demonstrative of a poetic system that contends beautifully all the damning systems around us.”
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