by Rob Winger
Winner: CBC Literary Awards (2003)
Book DescriptionShortlisted for the 2007 Governor General's Award for Poetry
Shortlisted for the 21st Annual Trillium Book Award for Poetry in English
Finalist for an Ottawa Book Award
Part history, part invention, Muybridge’s Horse is a sensual biographical long poem that follows the career of Eadweard Muybridge, a nineteenth-century British-born photographer whose studies of bodies in motion led to the invention of moving pictures.
Whether navigating hallucinogenic American deserts, violent coastal geographies, or a feral 1850s San Francisco, Rob Winger’s tale uses an inventive combination of poetic styles and voices, recounting early attempts to capture images on glass. Searching out stereoscopic beauty, Winger’s version of Muybridge carries portable darkrooms from the heights of Yosemite’s domes to the depths of the North and South American coastlines, and ultimately onto an 1878 race track, where a battery of fifty cameras settles a bet about a horse’s stride, forever changing the world’s understanding of movement.
Charged with murder, accused of neurosis, compelled to record ruins and wage-slavery, Muybridge conveys the violence implied by the photographic act and the blunt details hidden behind our histories. Elegantly told, Muybridge’s Horse is an evocative exploration of history, personal obsession, passion and negatives.