By Stuart Ross
You Exist. Details Follow. is Stuart Ross’s seventh full-length collection of poetry. In these poems, Ross veers in opposite directions: narrative confessional poems, and works that might be considered abstract expressionist, and a lot both in between and beyond those boundaries. Each poem breathes with the signature weirdness, the sharp wit, and gentle awe that Ross is known for. Here you’ll find confounding centos, fractured sonnets, delirious lists, poems composed through surrealist strategies, a new addition to Ross’s autobiographical Razovsky series, and more.
PRAISE FOR: YOU EXIST. DETAILS FOLLOW.
“Ross’s absurdism doesn’t rely on unconnected sentences, abstract thought, or an unusual, elevated vocabulary: rather, his poetry delights in the silliness of concrete mundanity. … The collection thus begins by launching us into a happily disjointed mind, into images connected as though by sparking, duct-taped wires, buzzing weird electrical fires of thought.”
— Matrix Magazine
“Ross captures well the violence, uncertainty and angst of childhood and the instability of life in our systemized world.”
— Event Magazine
“Ross does something commendable in this volume … he manages to transfer feelings — sadness, ironic insouciance, anger, affection — to the reader without sacrificing the inevitability and charm of the dream or the sincerity of the particular emotion(s) evoked. … (on the poem ‘Lineage’) it deserves a place with many other good and great surrealist poems: visionary, surprising, imagistically alert and suggestive, nimble, coherent, dreamlike (in this case nightmarish), and unforgettable.”
— Brian Palmu, brianpalmu.blogspot.ca
“… filled with fresh, stunning images: ‘a pale flower / that cares about bombs.’ Ross is always smart, strange and hilarious, while still conveying emotion. Laments that ‘I didn’t know how to walk / in the valley of too many shoes’ and observations that ‘They were in their world, / where nothing was weird’ are both clever and affecting. …”
— Winnipeg Free Press
“A voice all his own. Stuart Ross unleashes his refreshing snark in his latest collection of poems … He runs the gamut from his own brand of absurdist expressionism to fond childhood memories and poetic confessions. … Ross wisely and parenthetically writes: (Tension is a good thing sometimes. For example, you should stick it in art.) Stuart Ross loves that tension, fortunately for his readers.”
REVIEWERS ON ROSS’S PREVIOUS BOOKS
“It would be difficult to contain Ross’s manic talent in any way whatsoever.… He’s no wan academic poetaster; instead, Ross is an activist/populist who believes in making all writing accessible.” — Lynne Van Luven, The Malahat Review
“A gleeful package of surrealistic absurdity and unruly narratives of non sequiturs that undermines the norms of conventional poetry explicitly and those of the social order implicitly. Ross delights in deflating expectations of an epiphany or lyrically driven payoff to a poem.” — Barbara Carey, The Toronto Star
“Now considered to be Canada’s foremost writer of the surreal, Ross is enjoying some much-deserved recognition and has taken his place as one of the cool uncles of Canadian poetry.… The only real risk a reader runs with Ross is not being open enough to enjoy the wild ride.” — George Murray, Globe and Mail
“This is poetry’s answer to Aimee Bender. It is surrealism at its best: written not to dispel the present but to reveal it.” — Harold Rhenisch, Arc
“A mature writer who’s not afraid to play, plopping the reader into absurd situations and dangling disbelief above our heads.” — Christine Rowlands, subTerrain
“A writer with an original sensibility, he’s got a gazillion curious, funny and disturbing things to say about our lives and our world.” — M.A.C. Farrant, The Vancouver Sun
Stuart Ross is a writer, editor, writing teacher, and small press guerrilla living in Cobourg, Ontario. The recipient of the 2019 Harbourfront Festival Prize and the 2010 Relit Prize for Short Fiction, among others, Stuart is the author of over twenty books of poetry, fiction, and essays, most recently The Book of Grief and Hamburgers (ECW Press, 2022) and 70 Kippers: The Dagmar Poems (with Michael Dennis; Proper Tales Press, 2020). Stuart has taught workshops in schools across the country and was Writer-in-Residence at Queen’s University and the University of Ottawa. His work has been translated into French, Norwegian, Slovene, Russian, Spanish, and Estonian. I Am Claude François and You Are a Bathtub is his third collection of short fiction.