This Here Paradise begins with an epigraph from the work of Welsh poet, Menna Elfyn: “your language a hymn/ lost in the multitude,/ requiem for a world/ that’s forgetting how to be”. As if in response to this “forgetting,” Wharton’s poems move from the personal to cross a panorama of hopeful attentiveness. Clear images combine with a distinctive sense of rhythm and music to shape a collection both straight-ahead readable and carefully thoughtful, serious, and playful. There is a recognition that paradise includes both highs and lows. The presumptive duality of these two conditions suggests a tension that resolves through the book’s five sections, as Wharton opens a suitcase of birds and watches them soar over a landscape alive with radiant, open waters.
Advance praise for This Here Paradise:
“Colloquially sublime, the voices of This Here Paradise offer an amiable embrace of the commonplace elements of worlds we live in and share. Not just commonplace but magical, even lethal—sharpening our vision, our (un)certainties, our images of where else we might be or go, what we must not ignore, what other languages we might use. We rise from this book refreshed.”
— Gerald Hill, former Poet Laureate of Saskatchewan
Calvin Wharton has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies in Canada, the U.S., Wales, Sweden, and Denmark. He is a former chair of Creative Writing at Douglas College and writer in residence at the University of Wales. His books include a collection of short fiction, Three Songs by Hank WilliamsThe Song Collides; and more recently an Alfred Gustav Press poetry chapbook: The Invention of Birds.