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Topic: Joseph A. Dandurand

Mess Is Poetry’s Mass: Music at the Heart of Thinking by Fred Wah

Jack Spicer urges, in Admonitions, “not to search for the perfect poem but to let your way of writing of the moment go along its own paths, explore and retreat but never fully be realized (confined) within the boundaries of one poem.” For Spicer “there is really no single poem…they cannot live alone any more than we can.” In Music at the Heart of Thinking by Fred Wah, these ideas come to full life in the uncontainable verse of a long-poem.

Burning/from the inside out: SH:LAM (The Doctor) by Joseph A. Dandurand

In the “Author’s Note” that prefaces Sh:Lam (The Doctor), Joseph A. Dandurand states that his poems “tell the truth of what has happened to [his] people.” He explains, “The Kwantlen people used to number in the thousands, but 80% of our people were wiped out by smallpox and now there are only 200 of us.” He also describes how the voice of the Healer drove him to write the poems: they are the “tale of a Kwantlen man who has been given the gift of healing but also is a heroin addict living on the east side.”