It’s been a while since Michael Turner last read in Toronto. And to make up for it this month, the eclectic artist and writer has a slew of events lined up in the city that might never win the Stanley Cup, if they can’t manage it in the next couple of seasons.
Turner will be doing a talk at OCAD University during the day on Monday January 21st, and later that evening, participating in Frostbite: A Literary Icebreaker of an Evening, which is also a fundraiser for Nellie’s Shelter. Another Story Book Shop will be on hand to sell books, including 9x11.
Other Frostbite readers include Erin Moure, author of Sitting Shiva on Minto Avenue, by Toots, and nine other authors. The following evening on Tuesday, January 22nd, Michael Turner will perform at the Art Bar Reading Series, one of Canada’s most celebrated series and a great opportunity to get a signed copy of Turner’s new poetry book.
For a quick refresher course on the poet’s first poetry title in nearly a quarter century, let’s take a look at some recent reviews.
In her Georgia Straight review oF 9x11 and other poems like Bird, Nine, X and Eleven, Shazia Hafiz Ramji writes: “In unpretentious and straightforward prose, Turner guides us into confronting the confusion and cacophony of the city, placing facts and speech beside images tuned in to critique,” concluding aptly that “Turner’s frank, humble, and humorous voice transports us through the difficult present of housing in Vancouver, while considering the intimate work that goes into building relationships and the lasting magnetism of narrative and speech.”
In his review, poet / editor / curator / critic rob mclennan wrote: “In short, sharp lyric turns, Turner blends the daily mundane with the horrific, articulating how easily such terror becomes muted, presented and eventually dismissed, writing out wars in other places, and left far behind, yet with a violence that often perseveres; carries through, is carried, and continued.”
Jonathan Ball of the Winnipeg Free Press calls Michael Turner “a national treasure”, declaring it “brilliant, strange, dark and even funny,” and filled with “stark elegance.”