Transmitter and Receiver by Raoul Fernandes

4 Stars

This is a marvellous first collection from a great young voice in Canadian poetry. My first exposure to this work came in a park, in the summer, with sunshine and community surrounding me. After which experience, I decided I must read this book. I am a firm and committed believer in the page as a necessary function of poetics. A poem exists on the page, not only in the reading of it but in the play of lines, the secret nuances that are only fully graspable when the reader and the poem interact privately. There are of course exceptions and readings are often exceptional, but I still prefer  to develop my own relationship to the poems and the page.

In my private communion I was happily unsurprised that the power of the work was just as present. A poetics of machinery and communication, disruption. Frequencies both literal and figurative that life, narrative, and family operate on and within. There is a sense of movement and connection, technology and people. People impacted by and, at times, indecipherable from the machinery that IS modern life. The poems confront notions of equation and interpersonal relationships, of assigning value to the intangible.

All in all a lovely first collection, a poet I will be watching, and a hearty recommendation to read!

Published March 31st 2015 by Nightwood Editions

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