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Brick Books for Consortium

Songs for Relinquishing the Earth
By (author): Jan Zwicky
Jan Zwicky


Brick Books



Product Form:


Form detail:

Paperback , Trade
Nov 16, 1998
$18.95 CAD


8.5in x 6 x 0.3 in | 180 gr

Page Count:

88 pages
Brick Books
POETRY / Canadian / General

Songs for Relinquishing the Earth contains many poems of praise and grief for the imperilled earth drawing frequently on Jan Zwicky's experience as a musician and philosopher and on the landscapes of the prairies and rural Ontario.

Songs for Relinquishing the Earth was first published by the author in 1996 as a hand-made book, each copy individually sewn for its reader in response to a request. It appeared between plain covers on recycled stock, with a small photo (of lavender fields) pasted into each copy. The only publicity was word of mouth.

Part of Jan Zwicky's reason for having the author be the maker and distributor of the book was a desire to connect the acts of publication and publicity with the initial act of composition, to have a book whose public gestures were in keeping with the intimacy of the art. She also believed the potential audience was small enough that she could easily sew enough copies to fill requests as they came in. While succeeding in recalling poetry's public life to its roots, she was wrong about the size of that audience and her ability to keep up with demand as word spread, Hence, this facsimile edition. In publishing it, Brick Books has attempted to remain as faithful as possible to the spirit of those original gestures, while making it possible for more readers to have access to this remarkable book.

Jan Zwicky is a Canadian philosopher, poet, essayist and musician. Zwicky is a Professor Emerita in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Victoria, where she taught both philosophy and interdisciplinary humanities courses from 1996 until 2009. She has served as a faculty member at the Banff Centre Writing Studio, has conducted numerous writing workshops and edits regularly for Brick Books. Zwicky's poetry is featured in a number of anthologies. It deals frequently with music, as well as the natural world, and has often been cited for its intense lyricism. Numerous individual poems have been translated into Czech, French, German, Serbian, Spanish and Italian. Zwicky lives in British Columbia.

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