by Chris Banks
Winner of the Canadian Authors Association Jack Chalmers Poetry Award (2004) and shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Award for Poetry (2004)
Book DescriptionBringing Canadian poetry back to the achingly honest tradition of John Newlove and Bronwen Wallace, Chris Banks eschews linguistic showmanship, sketching in deft strokes the foreignness of things familiar.
Framed within the rural landscape of southwestern Ontario and Al Purdy’s “country north of Belleville,” Banks turns his pen to modern life and the small domestic urgencies that arise from it. This is a landscape we are all familiar with – grocery lines, “chemical-green lawns,” piles of gas bills and tax receipts, endless whirring highways and “a nacreous moon shining/ over condominiums.” A pointed and unrequited longing underpins Bonfires, but rather than toil in the darkness of his daily observations, Banks presses on to show us the essential centre where “everything disassembles itself / into some new clarity here.”