remember the old log house

remember the old log house on acres of land (all bush) acres and acres where we lived and died and married again.

Last month remember the old log house was released by As We Try & Sleep Press. This edition, a collaborative work between Peter Kralik and I, is a series of short found poems mined from a document written by my grandfather, George Elrick, in 1989. I call it an “edition” for lack of a better term. The more accurate way to speak of it is as “a new poetic work of alternative cartography” or “a geography of memory” or “a topographic poem.” Simply put, this 14″x17″ accordion-folded topographic map describes a landscape generated by text.

Inspired by Jordan Abel’s stunning piece “The Totem Pole Transported to Toronto” in Dandelion Magazine 37.1 (the “Mapping” issue) I decided to write a series of found poems using a document that Grandpa George had written to record a few childhood memories, ancestral tidbits and family history. Laid out on a 14″ square, mirror image on the backside of the page, his text (through my poems) became a terrain of rivers, roads, trails and markers punctuated by nine peaks, indicating the nine times he used the word remember. This intricate, hand drawn topography was brought to life by Peter and screen printed on semi-transparent bond paper at Martha Street Studio in Winnipeg. The result is a multidimensional reading of Grandpa George’s memories, imagined as a landscape replete with pathways, waterways and parkland. Locked into this dialogue between the map and the poetry are a number of hidden resonances that come to light with a sleuthing eye. My first mystery novel, perhaps.

remember the old log house is available to order by contacting me directly, or through As We Try & Sleep Press.

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