Discipline of Undressing
by K. Louise Vincent
If language is a source of imagination
and inquiry, how does the discipline of love become this too? These
poems reveal forms of undressing or letting go the poet hadn’t
known before – a simultaneous doing, undoing and non-doing.
In all she continues to explore themes of bewilderment and belonging,
calling out to the witness to keep an unmasked watch.
It is rare to meet someone
with such an opened heart. K. Louise is wide awake in the dark,
and she writes beautifully from that deep place.
The Discipline of Undressing was
a finalist for the ReLit Award for Poetry, which the Globe and Mail
has called “The country’s pre-eminent literary prize recognizing
K. Louise Vincent’s first book of
poems, Hannah and the Holy Fire, was published in 2004 with
Oolichan. Other publications include Transforming Abuse: Nonviolent
Resistance and Recovery (New Society Publishers, 1995) and the
poetry chapbooks The Green Room (Leaf Press, 2005) and The
Letter Poems (with Joanne Thorvaldson). She was born in Manitoba
where the precambrian shield meets the prairie and now lives on Gabriola
We are grateful to Susan Griffin for
permission to use her telling of the story of Robert Desnos. Her work
can be found here.
Flying Mermaids Studio.
.. poetry is a consciousness event. It is a form
of devotion, addressing, and in Gabriola Island poet K. Louise Vincent's
case, undressing. ... One of my favourite poems in the collection,
'Afterworld,' begins with an epigraph from Rumi. It is full of colour
— especially yellow — and then a multiplying moon with
"a stream of oranges/falling and rising in the hands/of an
invisible juggler." The book is lovely to hold in one's hand,
its poems surrounded by lots of space. In that spacious silence,
the words illuminated are conscious and exquisite. (Mary Ann Moore)
Patrick M. Pilarski
... (I don't use this phrase lightly) I was astounded.
By the end of an evening's read found myself faced with one of the
best volumes of poetry I have read in recent memory. I was hooked
after the first poem.
The was something raw and natural about the book
and the way the language played out, like a fusion of Anne Carson's
unexpected and skillful word-smithing, Don McKay's sense of nature
and place, and something else simply magical; perhaps the deep reflective
stillness of classic Japanese verse ... if I found something as exciting
as K. Louise Vincent's book every time I opened my mail box, I would
be a happy man indeed! (Patrick M. Pilarski)
Read Patrick's complete review from Other Voices
Link to Other Voices