Press Release and Book Launch of Gravity Matters, the poems of Sonja Greckol

The importance of “naming our world, in order to transform it”  (Freire, 2002) is a central feature of popular education, so Frank Bidart’s response to the central poem in “Greckol’s haunting, monumental 
‘Emilie Explains Newton to Voltaire.’” caught my attention. ” With eloquence and unceasing 
formal invention, the horse with wings (Pegasus, or poetry) tries to save mortal life by naming what it was.” This connection is so relevant to my current line of inquiry into art and end-0f-life care. Accordingly,  I have categorized this posting under both art-for-health and poetry.

– Dorothy Lander

Inanna Publications and Education Inc.
and XEXE Gallery invite you to join us at the launch of
Gravity Matters

 poems by
 Sonja Ruth Greckol

 XEXE Gallery
 624 Richmond St. West, Toronto
 Thursday, April 16, 2009  –  6:00-8:00pm

 Refreshments will be served.

 The publisher gratefully acknowledges
 the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts 
Council for its publishing program.

(please see press release below)

March 27, 2009
In GRAVITY MATTERS, the poet, Sonja Ruth Greckol, traces an arc: 
from a nineteenth-century European family that immigrated and 
settled in central Alberta to a digitized wondering held together 
by Skype and Google rooted in central Toronto. In this, a first 
collection, Greckol turns obliquely from the matters of largely 
personal lyrics to historical and international preoccupations 
that, nevertheless, remain embodied—a pentimento of certainties, 
sensualities and queries, empiricism and theory in science, moving 
from daughter to mother and then mother/daughtering once again—in a 
feminist voice that is urgent, empathic and wry.

 Greckol’s poems track oft-opposing impulses for both ‘gravity and 
flight,’ as she imagines what it is to stand at both sides of the 
barricades inside our own consciousness, calibrating the complex 
weave of reason and rapture. A gorgeous, intelligent churner of a 
—Margaret Christakos

History and personal history, defiant elegy and hymns to the warmly 
embodied self, Gravity Matters manages to find the charged moment, 
goes to work there, ‘offer[ing] whiskey with poppy seed cake’. We 
feel this gravitational pull, as readers; an altering, cumulative 
wind unveiling the sly half-truth in, ‘zephyr shivers/the copse/on 
the landfill,/and no/thing changes,/apparently’. These poems are 
honest, unafraid of the mistakes in a life, the missteps of memory.
—Ken Babstock

 These are poems about survival—which is to say, poems about grief 
and how the soul survives it. ‘When he is dog meat, she weeps // at 
the cruelty of farming: the horse without / wings cannot be saved 
by naming.’ All the themes of this book are triumphantly summed up 
and extended in its central poem, Greckol’s haunting, monumental 
‘Emilie Explains Newton to Voltaire.’ With eloquence and unceasing 
formal invention, the horse with wings (Pegasus, or poetry) tries 
to save mortal life by naming what it was.
 —Frank Bidart

Gravity Matters will be launched in Toronto on April 16, 2009  at 
XEXE Gallery, 624 Richmond Street West, Toronto, from 6:00 to 8:00pm.

Sonja Greckol’s work has appeared in Literary Review of Canada, 
Canadian Literature, Dalhousie Review, CV2, Canadian Woman Studies, 
Fiddlehead and Matrix. She coordinates poetry for Women and 
Environments International Magazine. She has taught college and 
university, studied order and disorder in jokes, done human rights 
and gender-based research and consulting, and continues to do local 
activism while she writes.

 For review copies, author interviews, publisher interviews, or more 
information, please contact Inanna Publications at 416 736 5356 or 


~ by artpoped on May 2, 2009.

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