November 30, 2005
Source: Mount Allison University:
Ancient motel landscape — poetry reading and book launch to be held Dec. 2
SACKVILLE, NB — On Friday, December 2, at 7:30 p.m., Dr. Shauna McCabe will read from her new collection of poetry, ancient motel landscape. Released by Broken Jaw Press in October 2005, the launch of the book is hosted by the Owens Art Gallery, Mount Allison University. The event is free and open to everyone. Refreshments will be served.
In this new collection, McCabe looks at intersections of memory and place, suggesting the deep epiphanies that are part of everyday experiences and landscapes. An accomplished poet and photographer, the book also integrates a number of the author’s black and white photographs, highlighting the inevitable blurring of the real and imaginary in our reckoning with place and the past, with others, and with ourselves.
At its core, according to McCabe, the collection looks at language and its potential to create philosophical and poetic terrain within the most ordinary places and domestic observations. "Poetry is about making sense of things for myself," she says, "of getting at perceptions and questions that are haunting me and clarifying them. Like Tom Waits’s song ‘Broken Bicycles,’ somehow the smallest detail can make you understand something you didn’t about human experience."
Alistair MacLeod, author of No Great Mischief, agrees: "Shauna McCabe’s use of landscape is unique in its connection to the human spirit. These poems fuse the organic and the spiritual in a deeply sensitive manner. They are of the land and of the heart." ancient motel landscape brings together new poems with those that have been published in such journals as blue SHIFT, The Gaspereau Review, The Windsor Review, Inscape (USA); in the anthology Landmarks: An Anthology of New Atlantic Canadian Poetry of the Land (2001); and in two poetry chapbooks—scene, road (Saturday Morning Chapbooks, 2003) and land over time (above/ground press, 2005).
Born in Quebec, McCabe gained her literary bearings in Saskatchewan, subsequently studying at McGill University, Simon Fraser University, and the University of British Columbia. Since moving to Prince Edward Island in 1998 where she has been senior curator at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery, she has developed interdisciplinary forums blending music and poetry such as Pirate Utopias, Duets, and the Urban Poetry Mass. She is currently adjunct professor with the department of fine arts, Mount Allison University and recently accepted a new appointment as interim director of the Provincial Art Gallery, The Rooms in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Books will be available at the reading for $19 CDN courtesy of Tidewater Books, and are available in bookstores and online.