The Reinvention of the Human Hand
By Paul Vermeersch
(McClelland & Stewart, Paperback, 9780771087431, 88pp.)
Publication Date: March 16, 2010
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Paul Vermeersch’s new poems give a present-day voice to primitive song, and restore to us a dawn-time severity that cuts through modern evasions. They go beyond sophistication to reveal the passionate and suffering animal within. The Reinvention of the Human Hand is a poetry of the human body’s experience, of a primal being that struggles to assert itself, or perhaps just survive, in a world of metals, plastics, electronics. Here is the most far-reaching work yet by the acclaimed author of Burn, The Fat Kid, and Between the Walls. Vermeersch has always gone in search of understanding. Now his discoveries speak of a human world exhausted by its divorce from an animal past, terrified of retreating into early places it never truly left, astonished by the forgotten possibilities disclosed there.
Paul Vermeersch is the author of three previous collections of poetry and the editor of The I.V. Lounge Reader and The Al Purdy A-frame Anthology. His writing has appeared frequently in the Globe and Mail and been featured on CBC Radio. His poems have been published in numerous journals and anthologies in Canada, the United States and Europe. He lives in Toronto, teaches at Sheridan College, and is the poetry editor for Insomniac Press.
"Vermeersch is one of Canada's best young poets. [His poems] explore the tension between the natural world and the artifice of our society, and the collision between the public sphere and the secret corners of our private lives."
— Vancouver Province