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LPG Sales Collective, Long Reads for Winter

The Absence of Zero
By (author): R. Kolewe
R. Kolewe


Book*hug Press



Product Form:


Form detail:

Paperback , Trade


General Trade
Nov 09, 2021
$28.00 CAD


7.95in x 5.5 x 1.2 in | 540 gr

Page Count:

458 pages
Book*hug Press
POETRY / Subjects & Themes / Death, Grief, Loss

The Absence of Zero is a triumphantly-executed celebration of the long poem tradition. Consisting of 256 16-line quartets, and 34 free-form interruptions, this slow-moving haunting work is a beautiful example of thinking in language, a meditation that explores time and memory in both content and form. The 20th century is already more than 20 years past: The Absence of Zero is Kolewe's elegy to that era, and the disparate fragments of its ideas that continue to affect and disrupt our present.

  • Explores themes of grief, loss, mathematics, memory, friendship, 20th Century, connection and time.
  • A timely book that grapples with loss that will be released during this time of extreme loss due to the ongoing pandemic.
  • While the 20th Century is now more than 20 years in the past, we continue to live in the hail of its fragments.
  • Borrows concepts from relativity and quantum mechanics.
  • Written over a period of seven years, this contemporary take on the epic poem was composed using a unique constraint-based structure, consisting of 256 16-line quartets interwoven with 34 free-form poems.

R. Kolewe was born in Montreal and lives in Toronto. Educated in physics and engineering at the University of Toronto, he pursued a successful career in the software industry for many years. He now lives in Toronto, and writes full time. His work has appeared online at ditch, e-ratio, The Puritan, and (parenthetical), as well as in the Literary Review of Canada and PRISM International. He is the author of two previous poetry collections, including Afterletters (Book*hug Press, 2014) and Inspecting Nostalgia (2017).

"The interiors of R. Kolewe's epic poem The Absence of Zero, are anything but ... observance upon observance then another, continuous action … past and continuing, teeter, falter, tick by, lob between thoughts, threads, memories, what is, what was, what might befall, or. "Read again. Nothing beautiful." and absolutely absorbing, returning again and again to this place, this street, this window, this room. Know that once you enter, there is no going back. The presence of absence, all too familiar, begins to read, occupy you. It's a glorious achievement. Prepare to be mesmerized." —Kirby, author of Poetry is Queer

"R. Kolewe's The Absence of Zero is a daring, daily progression that depends upon return as palimpsest. Call it what it is. Gorgeous. Steadfastly urgent. Patient as dawn." —Margaret Christakos, author of charger and Dear Birch

“The echo of phrases repeating, shifted into different contexts, allow for a shifting, and even fluid, perception…This really is a remarkable book.” —periodicities

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Also Available

Inspecting Nostalgia R. Kolewe 9781772011326 $18.95 CAD Mar 28, 2017
Afterletters R. Kolewe 9781771660549 $18.00 CAD Oct 06, 2014

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