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LitDistCo Fall 2013 Frontlist

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Invisible Dogs
By (author): Barry Dempster
9781926829845 Paperback, Trade English General Trade POETRY / General Rural Ontario Sep 01, 2013
$20.00 CAD
Active 6 x 8.75 x 0.4 in 96 pages Brick Books

Virtuosic poems tracking two intertwined themes: the breakdown of an obsessive love affair and the vicissitudes of middle age.

Invisible Dogs, Dempster's fourteenth collection, is a complex but deeply coherent hymn to the difficult business of staying alive. This is a book for when it hurts so bad you hope you'll die and are afraid you won'tÑnot because it offers consolation or the promise of a new dawn, but because it so compellingly documents the plain, hard, ungraceful, stumbling grief of the matter, and meets it with rare self-knowledge, wry humour, and an unornamented determination to go on living.

Dempster's metaphors are like hairpin turns taken at breakneck speed. He has nerves of steel when it comes to self-examination, and it's this relentless honesty and the emotional torque it induces that keep the voice on the road.
... He scrutinizes
the rearview mirror as if it were a bush about to spring
into flames, the past appearing closer than it really is.ÊÊ
Miles of missing her, those erratic white lines.ÊÊ
He keeps forgetting where he's going Ð city,
corner store, centre of the universe. No wonder
arrival feels so temporary, like a borrowed bathroom key.
~ from "He Said/She Said"

Barry Dempster is the author of fourteen poetry collections, a novel, two volumes of short stories and a children's book. He teaches writing workshops from Banff, Alberta to Santiago, Chile. His most recent books include Love Outlandish, Ivan's Birches, Blue Wherever and Dying a Little. A new novel is forthcoming from Pedlar Press in November 2013.

"This writing is full of density and weight, despite the apparent simplicity, and reads very well aloud ... [A] mastercraftsman at the height of his powers." -- Philip K. Thompson, Halifax Chronicle-Herald

"[T]he truly arresting aspect of these poems is their intensity of feeling and the poet's respect for feeling." -- Candice Fertile, The Maple Tree Literary Supplement

"Barry Dempster's books seem--at first read--to take in all there is in the world, but each subsequent reading focusses the reader to a sharper point, a familiar word made unfamiliar, a tiny moment, which may seem insignificant within the larger text, but when fully heard, rings as true and clear ..." -- Kimmy Beach, CV2

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