Pebble Swing

Pebble Swing

Isabella Wang
$18.95


A much-anticipated debut collection from one of Canada’s most promising emerging poets

Pebble Swing earns its title from the image of stones skipping their way across a body of water, or, in the author’s case, syllables and traces of her mother tongue bouncing back at her from the water’s reflective surface. This collection is about language and family histories. It is the author’s attempt to piece together the resonant aftermath of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, which stole the life of her paternal grandmother. As an immigrant whose grasp of Mandarin is fading, Wang explores absences in her caesuras and fragmentation—that which is unspoken, but endures.

The poems in this collection also trace the experiences of a young poet who left home at seventeen to pursue writing; the result is a series of city poetry infused with memory, the small joys of Vancouver’s everyday, environmental politics, grief and notions of home. While the poetics of response are abundant in the collection—with poems written to Natalie Lim and Ashley Hynd—the last section of the book, "Thirteen Ghazals and Anti-Ghazals after Phyllis Webb," forges a continued response to Phyllis Webb on Salt Spring Island, and innovates within the possibilities of the experimental ghazal form.


 
"Pebble Swing is a nuanced collection of poetry that is refreshingly, devastatingly new. Isabella, with her direct and clear-eyed poetic voice, takes on the markers of Canadian poetry—landscape, identity and place—but makes them entirely her own. It is remarkable that a young Chinese Canadian poet can engage so precisely with the canonized literary past, while making sure her own linguistic fingerprint remains distinct, heartbreaking and real. Pebble Swing is one of the most exciting debut books, in any genre, that I have ever read."
–Jen Sookfong Lee, author of the end of east

"The poems in Isabella Wang’s Pebble Swing move like fireflies. Shying away from big revelations they offer brief, brilliant illuminations that last long after one has laid the book down. To enter these poems is to mull over history and place and to understand that the poet for whom “there was no place for my language in this new country” has made of language itself a home—for herself and for her readers."

–Eve Joseph, author of In the Slender Margin


Nightwood Editions
ISBN: 9780889714069
Paperback / softback
5.5 in x 8 in - 112 pp
Publication Date: 16/10/2021
BISAC Subject(s):: POE011000-POETRY / Canadian / General,POE005060-POETRY / American / Asian American,POE023050-POETRY / Subjects & Themes / Family 
:

Description


A much-anticipated debut collection from one of Canada’s most promising emerging poets

Pebble Swing earns its title from the image of stones skipping their way across a body of water, or, in the author’s case, syllables and traces of her mother tongue bouncing back at her from the water’s reflective surface. This collection is about language and family histories. It is the author’s attempt to piece together the resonant aftermath of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, which stole the life of her paternal grandmother. As an immigrant whose grasp of Mandarin is fading, Wang explores absences in her caesuras and fragmentation—that which is unspoken, but endures.

The poems in this collection also trace the experiences of a young poet who left home at seventeen to pursue writing; the result is a series of city poetry infused with memory, the small joys of Vancouver’s everyday, environmental politics, grief and notions of home. While the poetics of response are abundant in the collection—with poems written to Natalie Lim and Ashley Hynd—the last section of the book, "Thirteen Ghazals and Anti-Ghazals after Phyllis Webb," forges a continued response to Phyllis Webb on Salt Spring Island, and innovates within the possibilities of the experimental ghazal form.


 
"Pebble Swing is a nuanced collection of poetry that is refreshingly, devastatingly new. Isabella, with her direct and clear-eyed poetic voice, takes on the markers of Canadian poetry—landscape, identity and place—but makes them entirely her own. It is remarkable that a young Chinese Canadian poet can engage so precisely with the canonized literary past, while making sure her own linguistic fingerprint remains distinct, heartbreaking and real. Pebble Swing is one of the most exciting debut books, in any genre, that I have ever read."
–Jen Sookfong Lee, author of the end of east

"The poems in Isabella Wang’s Pebble Swing move like fireflies. Shying away from big revelations they offer brief, brilliant illuminations that last long after one has laid the book down. To enter these poems is to mull over history and place and to understand that the poet for whom “there was no place for my language in this new country” has made of language itself a home—for herself and for her readers."

–Eve Joseph, author of In the Slender Margin

Details


Nightwood Editions
ISBN: 9780889714069
Paperback / softback
5.5 in x 8 in - 112 pp
Publication Date: 16/10/2021
BISAC Subject(s):: POE011000-POETRY / Canadian / General,POE005060-POETRY / American / Asian American,POE023050-POETRY / Subjects & Themes / Family 
: