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Harmonics

  • Publication Date: September 1, 2009
  • ISBN: 9781551119601 / 1551119609
  • 96 pages; 6" x 9"

Jesse Patrick Ferguson brings music and poetry into conversation with each other in this compelling debut collection. Modelled on the fundamental tones and overtones of the harmonic series, poems in Ferguson’s arrangement riff on one another, and words, phrases and images resonate sympathetically, with all the energy and buzz of a firmly plucked mandolin string.

Throughout, Ferguson pays homage to poetic traditions, infusing age-old forms like the sonnet and the villanelle with an astute and contemporary political sensibility, a unique and fresh aesthetic energy, and a breezy, brazen East Coast swagger. In dense and vivacious verse, he tunefully explicates a range of subjects from climate change to rent cheques to various incarnations of love, offering the reader a tin-can telephone to the raucous and beautiful symphony of everyday life.

“Jesse Ferguson’s vibrant poetry not only makes music, it is music: in this collection, poems resonate with one another as if they were part of the harmonic series. This book is structured by rhythms and echoes of rhythms, and forms that play upon those rhythms further (like the villanelle, sonnet, pantoum, and triolet). Throughout, ordinary things—rain, a struck match, utensils in the cutlery drawer—have the hum and rattle of magic. Here’s a poet who shows us how to put an ear to the world and listen.” – Anne Simpson

CAA-Bookland Emerging Writer Award, 2010 (short-listed)