Tim Bowling

Circa Nineteen Hundred and Grief is Tim Bowlings twelfth collection of poetry, others of which include The Annotated Bee & Me, Fathom, The Memory Orchard, and Selected Poems. He has also published a memoir, four novels (including The Bone Sharps and The Tinsmith) and a creative work on book collecting and poetry entitled In The Suicides Library. Bowling lives in Edmonton, Alberta.


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Fathom
Tim Bowling

2006 / Poetry / $18.95
9781554470167 / Trade paper / 112 pp


Tim Bowlings latest collection of poetry takes stock of memories, ancestors and friends, years spent and fish caught. Amidst the pong of the salmon fishery that is his heritage and was once his occupation, Bowling navigates the culverts, rivers and harbours that lend a fluid tumble to his verse. Acting as poetic tenderman, Bowling writes of the foggy pulse and spill of British Columbias Fraser River delta, and the similar pulse and spill of memory itself.

Bowlings poetry progresses in the rhythms of his subjects, pulled by the coursing of generations through the decades and of a river along its banks. Offering fresh variations on subjects that have spurred his poetry from his very first collection, Fathom is characterized by strong narratives and a potent lyric energy. These poems share a personable tone and nimble focus on the dense terrain of memory and occupation, and the overlaps that occur between. They also reveal a new level of trust in images and their inherent connections to one another. Bowlings natural poetics reflect the ease and occasional mischievousness of a good host, introducing parallels and leaving them to chat amongst themselves.

I grew up along the banks of the Fraser River in a salmon fishing family, says Bowling. That experience shaped me in ways Im still trying to understand. Fathom is an attempt to convey some of the richness and intensity of that world. So the poems look back to an almost mythical childhood of mysterious creatures and distinctive human characters, but without any falsifying prettiness. The eye of the poems is not a childs eye; it sees the sadness and pain of the Great War veterans living in small apartments and the homesickness of Greek immigrants and the racism of an earlier time when we called a chinaman a chinaman; it sees the native place as part of a much broader human story played out over generations. Yet theres always gratitude and affirmation implicit in the poems. Ive tried to pay the river and the marshes and the salmon and the people of my hometown back with metaphor, the one form of wildness we possess thats worthy of the earth. Well, metaphor and love because I loved my hometown, its oddball mix of fishermen and farmers, its eerie, trembling half-mile between the totem pole and cenotaph, its rain-swollen blackberries and orange-gold salmonberries, its particular flavour never to be tasted again, but just there, hovering, an inch from the lips. Even so, I wrote Fathom without any grand overarching design. I just wanted to be honest and as vivid as possible about the world that means more to me than any other.

Review:
an especially resonant work of long-line, prose-leaning verse that specifically and unapologetically plumbs evocative details of this unique personal history, starting with the books title. Gilbert Bouchard, Edmonton Journal

Has Special Edition: 9781554470174

Other Books by this Author

Circa Nineteen Hundred and Grief
Tim Bowling

2014 / Poetry / $19.95 CAN / $19.95 US
9781554471348 / Trade paper
In the Suicide's Library: Books, Collecting, and Mid-life.
Tim Bowling

2010 / Fiction / $27.95 CAN / $27.95 US
9781554470891 / Trade paper
The Annotated Bee and Me
Tim Bowling

2010 / Poetry / $18.95 CAN / $18.95 US
9781554470860 / Trade paper
Refrain for Rental Boat #4
Tim Bowling

2008 / Poetry / $100.00 CAN / $100.00 US
9781554470679 / Fine
The Bone Sharps
Tim Bowling

2007 / Fiction / $27.95 CAN / $27.95 US
9781554470358 / Trade paper
Fathom
Tim Bowling

2006 / Poetry / $49.95 CAN / $49.95 US
9781554470174 / Fine

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