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Burning Province by Michael Prior

Burning Province

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Burning Province by Michael Prior
Paperback $16.95
Mar 24, 2020 | ISBN 9780771072345

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  • Mar 24, 2020 | ISBN 9780771072345

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Praise for Michael Prior and Burning Province

“A magnificent collection. In a voice tenderly apocalyptic, Burning Province transmutes inherited stories and silences around the internment of Japanese-Canadians at the outbreak of World War II into a sublime testimony of resilience. These poems enact with technical conviction Simone Weil’s dictum, ‘no grandeur except in gentleness.’ Michael Prior’s fierce gentleness is an exciting and exacting talent.” —Ishion Hutchinson, author of House of Lords and Commons

“‘When the land is gone,/meet me where it was,’ writes Michael Prior in this superb second collection, where the poet brings the terrains of both erased histories and erased wilderness to life with startling force and awe. Prior’s skill as a poet lies in his ability to both shape into being and rupture existing ideologies of the land and what it shelters—his poems upend preconceived notions of the pastoral. A highway built by a great-grandfather during internment, cygnets, fires, dreams of Kyushu, cardinals preparing for storms—each detail is rendered exquisitely. Fresh, crisp, and alive, this book is essential reading—if not for the breathless beauty of its lines, then for its historical revelations. Prior ensures that the stories of those loved ones never vanish.” —Sally Wen Mao, author of Oculus
“Memory is a  burning province in this noctilucent book that sings the night folds of history—its forgotten ragments and repressed accounts. Passion runs through the poems like a subversive  river. Portraits smolder with residual depth; the negative space where ‘salt and silver nitrate / scribe light’s dictation on the page . . .’ The conundrum of Theseus’s ship becomes a trope for disruptions of identity and cultural heritage. When Michael Prior considers the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, his sources are primary and visceral. The poems’ metabolism—the linguistic synergy that imbues language with life—offers inexhaustible discoveries in lines sharp as incisions, riveting in their precision. Sensual pastorals, gorgeously-thought eclogues, create a stereophonic alliance of political consciousness with lyric imagination. ‘When the land is gone, / meet me where it was.’ Haunted by the exigencies of humans and planet, Prior’s elegiac lyric narratives are as beautiful as they are necessary. His poems will entice you to see and feel the world freshly, the greatest gift literature can bestow.” —Alice Fulton, author of Barely Composed

Praise for Michael Prior and Model Disciple:

“Prior [has] formal strength and self-conscious wit…His inventive approaches to self-revelation help break his work out of a purely confessional mode and give it refreshing emotional range.”—Montreal Review of Books

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