John Thompson

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Stilt Jack
John Thompson

2024 / Canadian Poetry / $350.00
Fine / 56 pp

Stilt Jack is a sequence of 38 ghazals written by John Thompson (1938–1976) and first published in 1978 following Thompson’s tragic death. These often beguiling poems resonate with the complexities of Thompson’s life and locale, skillfully connecting the speaker’s stark experiences with the expansive world of literature and mythology. As Thompson writes in his introduction: “The ghazal allows the imagination to move by its own nature: discovering an alien design, illogical and without sense—a chart of the disorderly, against false reason and the tacking together of poor narratives. It is the poem of contrasts, dreams, astonishing leaps.”

“This is poetry attempting to do one of the tasks of sacred texts: parting the waters. It is poetry speaking ‘unspoken words’ and seeing ‘unseen gods.’” —Peter Sanger, in Sea Run: Notes on John Thompson’s Stilt Jack

Production Details: Typeset in Linotype Electra. Letterpress printed in black and brown on Hahnemühle Bugra mouldmade paper. Folded and trimmed to 7.5 × 11.75 inches making 56 pages plus endpapers. Handsewn and casebound, black cloth over light boards. Printed paper label on the spine. Issued in a dark grey machine-made paper jacket. Limited edition of 45 numbered copies.

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