Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Entry 1: Damian Rogers and Jason Guriel

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Damian Rogers

Books: Paper Radio (ECW 2009)

Cred: Ask around. Rogers’ debut Paper Radio has been garnering praise from a long list of poets and poetry enthusiasts. She has published widely in widely read magazines (Maisonneueve, The Walrus, Brick etc.) and Paper Radio (a debut) was nominated for the Relit Award and Pat Lowther Award.

Relevance: Having grown up in suburban Michigan and spent a number of years in New York and Chicago, it’s no surprise that Rogers brings with her a distinct set of American influences, most notably those that have emerged from the charming, everyday surrealism of the New York school (Tate, O’Hara, Ashberry, Guest, Koch, etc.). However, as showcased in Paper Radio’s opening poem “Redbird” (a nod no doubt to Gwendolyn Mackewan’s poem “The Red Bird you Wait For”) there is a wide range a well-considered influences at work comingling in very interesting ways. Rogers is something unique, to be sure. Incorporating elements of surrealism, confessionalism, collage, and personal anecdote, Rogers writes poetry that is utterly devoid of pretension but rings in the way one wants it to: that is, full of richness and life.


I’ll be posting an interview with Damian on Thursday in which she talks about the very promising Poetry in Voice project that she has been working on, her time spent in small clubs in Chicago, as well as what she’s working on now.

Jason Guriel

Books: Technicoloured (Exile, 2007)
Pure Product (Signal, 2009)

Cred: If you didn’t know it already, Guriel is actually one of our most successful, internationally- regarded poets and critics—an astounding feat given that Guriel is quite young and also has earned a Phd in English. Count among his notches the prestigious Frederick Bock Poetry prize and the Editor’s Prize for book reviewing from Poetry magazine.

Relevance: To my mind, Guriel is at the forefront of a contemporary re-tooling of poetry in the way his work mixes high culture (an indebtedness to American modernism) with popular culture (here, music and consumerism, as Guriel’s first book was indebted to film). Guriel brings with him a considered, technically virtuosic style that above all seeks to entertain the reader with poetic effects, all of which can be summed up by the Frostian edict that “no free verse is free.” It’s this mix if technicality and willingness to bring poetry down from a highfalutin perch that makes Guriel so exciting.

Is currently working on: Hopefully new poems.

Sample: http://www.poetryfoundation.or...

A good interview with Jason:

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

Jeff Latosik

Jeff Latosik’s first book, Tiny, Frantic, Stronger (Insomniac Press), was published in Spring 2010.

Go to Jeff Latosik’s Author Page