FREE SHIPPING in CANADA for orders over $50
Soft Power

Soft Power

About

Watch out for those who have, seek, and hold onto power.

So drink

As the fanged stoat from the rabbit's nape

As though from a flagon of river water

Shaken with ancestral ash

As if it isn't knowledge you seek

But some osmotic soul-food

To be filled up with blurs

That might later resolve themselves

Into memories

To return to where you really live

With changes in your blood

Lyrical yet shot through with experimental and political veins, the poems in Soft Power are engaged with both the here-and-now of a world on the brink and the hope of something better, a planet where "generations hence / Inactivists will bathe under a sun made safe / By the collapse of oil-can economics."

Traversing badlands, sandhills, prairies, suburbia, Miami, London, Dublin, Paris, and beyond, Cole's voice revels in questions of travel while resonating with the unheimlich "Canadalienation" of his expatriate existence. Whether bog surfing, gallery hopping, bug hunting, or meditating on the "strange genre" of national anthems, the poems in Cole's long-awaited follow-up collection to his critically acclaimed Questions in Bed exist in a searching exchange with the world, both entering and being entered by it.


Author

Stewart Cole is the author of the collection Questions in Bed and the chapbooks Sirens and Alien Freight. He grew up in the Rideau Valley south of Ottawa and lived in Victoria, Montréal, Fredericton, London, and Toronto before moving to the American Midwest, where he teaches at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

Reviews

"The voice in Stewart Cole's Soft Power is like an animal turning circles in high grass, prepping the ground prior to bedding down. Agitated, aware, and nowhere at home, these poems know why they're adrift, uprooted, abandoned to a transcient language of visitor, caretaker, scribe, and witness." — Ken Babstock

"Soft Power is an ars inveniendi, an 'undirected love' for the world that refuses the falsifying aspirational ubiquity of late capitalism in favour of a mutual mediation between subject and object. With a critical eye growing weary of 'needing to be useful' and sensing 'what is is more than what's here,' this restless, wry rumination has no expectations, leaving readers to wonder if they're alive in the same negatively capable way. Stewart Cole's poetry is a kind of doubt, still in search for what might humanize us in a barbaric age." — Nyla Matuk

Details

88 pages
Pub date: September 24, 2019