BWS 13.11.13: Richard Scarsbrook

6weeksMCK3At C’est What last night, November BWS guest Richard Scarsbrook launched Six Weeks, his long-anticipated first poetry collection (and second book released this fall!).

Six Weeks (Turnstone Press) brings together Richard’s best poems from the last 15 years, including the 2013 Winston Collins/Descant Poetry Prize finalist “Fortune,” the 2013 Fish Poetry Prize-longlisted “Exit Interview” and “Rule of Three,” four poems from Guessing at Madeleine — winner of the Cranberry Tree Poetry Press Chapbook Competition, all the way back in 1997 — and others that have graced the pages of Prairie Fire, CarouselExistere, VerbicideThe Fieldstone Review and more.

Between poems, Richard paused to thank a number of people for supporting the book; “Poetry,” he said, “is a lot closer to my heart than prose writing — I expose a lot more of myself than in my fiction,” noting that poetry was where his writing journey began. In fact, he said he “fell away from poetry for a long time” but rediscovered his voice upon receiving Pablo Neruda’s 20 Love Poems and a Song of Despair as a gift, keying in on the closing line of “Every day you play”:

“I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.”

It’s a tall order he’s given himself , but Jeanette Lynes hails the collection as a success: “Don’t let the spareness of Richard Scarsbrook’s writing fool you,” she writes. “The poems in Six Weeks are lush, layered, and rich with wit and imagination. Longing and desire are frequent subjects here, and Scarsbrook doesn’t shy away from vulnerability or — uncool as it might sound — romance. There’s a big imagination at work and play in these poems, a sharp intelligence, and a resonant ear.”

Sounds good to us… and so do the poems. What? You missed the launch? Well, we just might know where you can hear Richard read again…Rich

Richard Scarsbrook visits the Brockton Writers Series on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 – full of beans Coffee House & Roastery, 1348 Dundas St. W., Toronto (7pm, PWYC) – along with Daniel Perry, Emily Pohl-Weary and Josh Smith. Come early (6:30) for a talk by Michael Callaghan about Exile Editions and their publishing program, including the $15,000 Carter V. Cooper/Exile Short Fiction Competition.

Watch this space for more with each of our readers in the month leading up to the event!

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