Collapsible, a book whose title, the author explains, is partly an aesthetic statement, as it points to “a certain tendency that might be noted in the writing itself.” But Conley is quick to point out that “so many things in our world are collapsible: telescopes, hats, umbrellas, human relationships, civilizations, and maybe even, according to some scientists, the universe itself.”
Collapsible operates like a concept album. The parallels to a fiction collection and a long playing album are not that hard to see.
“The provisional quality of short fiction resonates, I think, with our own sense of impermanence,” Conley explains. Going from one sound to another, some longer than others, some are sad, melodic, and some more heady than others. “Short fiction intrigues me as a form,” Conley says, adding, “it is so easily underestimated just now. I am compelled to keep exploring the possibilities of this form, because there are so many.”
Toronto author Spencer Gordon says Conley’s writing “will inspire you to read and write and think with more audacity.”
Conley will be launching Collapsible on March 29th at the Niagara Artists Centre at 7pm. Conley will be also be releasing Unless Acted Upon , a new poetry collection this season, published by Toronto’s Mansfield Press.
Conley teaches English at Brock University, and has published widely on Joyce, Nabokov, and other aspects of twentieth-century literature.