McClelland & Stewart, Paperback, 9780771027390, 64pp.
Publication Date: May 13, 2000
Christopher Dewdney’s love for the landscape and the flora and fauna of southwestern Ontario has provoked some of the most gorgeously erotic prose ever to appear in this country. From that love, augmented by ardent research in the field, emerges a marvellously compelling, futuristic vision of time and space collapsed into near-simultaneity. Books IV and V of The Natural History of Southwestern Ontario, presented in Signal Fires, are self-contained sections of a continuing prose poem deeply satisfying in its density. The New-Old World of this long poem, written over a fifteen-year period, is sensuously and conceptually so immediate that orgasm and epiphany are one in it. This is writing, and reading, as immersion. Accompanying the natural histories in Signal Fires are poems with a different but equally involving music, lyrics of loss and redemption in which human relationships are central.
“These poems have a haunting, stately quality: they truly suggest the ‘mystery/of everything’ as manifested in the act of love.”
–Globe and Mail
“Dewdney has undergone a transformation; his poetry has taken on greater humanity and been touched by love, while still in touch with the gods.”
–Quill & Quire
“[His] poems have a painful, visceral quality to them that rasps against the cerebral and genteel aspects of their presentation. They are about the redemption of human misery magnified to the highest power.”
“[He has] fashioned a body of work that is original, challenging, witty, stylistically versatile, and remarkably cohesive.”
–Books in Canada