Spanning a quarter century of Friesen’s work, the poems in Outlasting the Weather speak to what is meant by “a life lived in poetry.” The poems in this Selected are inseparable from the poet. To read them is to enter his thinking and ride his breath: to experience the art of making in as immediate a way as is humanly possible.
This collection rejects wisdom; rather it is infused with the kind of knowing that comes from having weathered many seasons yet still remaining open to wonder. Memory, its fallibility, and its insistence on uncovering not one truth, but many, is a thread that runs throughout this book. Sometimes it is unclear whose memories we are reading: those of the poet or our own. These poems are archaeological digs through layers of a life lived without the certainty of belief.
“The poems in this volume represent the second half of an already auspicious literary career that began in Manitoba and has continued unabated to this day in Victoria B.C. Outlasting the Weather, a collection twenty-six years in the making, displays an astonishing range of achievement from a writer who has continued to change and evolve while pushing the limits in exploring the human journey. Friesen has found great depth and solace in collaboration in theatre, dance, translation and music. Whether touching upon the beauty in a still life or the thunder in the heavens; the memory of history or the ‘gossip of the dead,’ these are evocative poems from a poet to be reckoned with.”
— Allan Safarik
Patrick Friesen has published more than a dozen books of poetry, a book of essays, has written stage and radio plays, and has co-translated, with Per Brask, five books of Danish poetry, including Frayed Opus for Strings & Wind Instruments by Ulrikka Gernes, which was nominated for the Griffin Poetry Prize in 2016. In January 2020, he released a CD, Buson’s Bell, which consists of composed, as well as improvised music, and text. He lives in Victoria, BC.