BWS 09.01.19: Jim Nason

jim nason (1)

Jim Nason is an author, teacher, publisher, and activist. His sixth poetry collection, Rooster, Dog, Crow was recently released with Frontenac House.  He has also published a short story collection The Girl on the Escalator and his third novel, Spirit of a Hundred Thousand Dead Animals, was recently published by Signature Editions. Jim is a Finalist for the 2018 ReLit Poetry Award.


Rooster, Dog, Crow – Jim Nason: A Few Thought-provoking Questions and a Friendly interview

The book depicts a world where upside-down politics dovetails with the carnivalesque, a love triangle unfolds between a belligerent Rooster, a happy-go-lucky meth-addicted Dog, and a gender-fluid Crow. This is my sixth poetry collection and I believe I have pushed myself to the extremes of the creative mind to depict a world that is real and surreal, a place where women, men, and animals shape-shift and trade places, intermingle within each other’s feathers, coats, and skin. Sometimes these characters are the masters of decadence and desire, other times they question the very worlds they’ve invented.  The opening poem, “Rooster Wears Stilts to the Pride Parade,” depicts a self-righteous, party-pooper bird shouting: Lower your banners, swallow your whistles! To hell with this stream of green, blue and youth.

Rooster, Dog, Crow follows the Trump campaign to an apocalyptic finale. In “Flame,” Rooster, high up on stilts, claims that he learned to swallow flames/ by watching Hillary Clinton in a bright red suit deflect Trump’s abuse and lies. Rooster says, Clinton leaned into the gap/ of the next question as if the floor were/ about to part, as if she were about to be/ swallowed – red and burning and whole.

This collection asks the reader to abandon fear and commit to a life that is ecstatic with risk. The poems in this book insist that the only wrong is an unexplored life. I invite one and all to join the parade with its full range of costumed marchers, banal banners, and erogenous, music-thumping floats.

In anticipation of the Brockton Reading Series on January 9th,  I send the following questions that will allow you to begin to understand and engage with me about my new, exciting and controversial, poetry book: Rooster, Dog, Crow.

How many dogs live on the streets of Toronto?

How many Roosters reside in a single Lethbridge Co-op?

On any given morning, just before dawn, how many crows can be seen landing on the moss-covered logs that line the English Bay shoreline?

Can Roosters speak French?

Are all teenage crows gender fluid and all city dogs at risk for opioid addiction?

I will do my best to answer these and the many questions you might have when I see you at the event. In the meantime, I wholeheartedly invite you to read the following interview about the book on rob mclennan’s blogspot.


Jim Nason visits Brockton Writers Series on Wednesday, Janurary 9, 2019 at Glad Day Bookshop, 499 Church Street, Toronto, starting at 6:30pm (PWYC) alongside JF Garrard, Anubha Mehta, Judy Rebick, and guest speaker Dorothy Ellen Palmer who brings up the question of “How Can We Work Together Towards the Respectful Representation of Marginalized Identities?”




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