How to Avoid Huge Ships
How to Avoid Huge Ships, Julie Bruck's fourth collection of poetry, is a book of arguments and spells against the ambushes of age. This is, of course, a pointless exercise with a rich history. Bruck's new poems excavate a middle zone?as old parents wither and regress, while the young declare their independence. Parents grow down, children up and it's from the uncomfortable in-between that these poems peer into what Philip Larkin describes as "the long slide." But what if we haven't reached the end of the infinite adolescence we thought we'd been promised? We're still here in this world of flying ottomans, alongside a middle-schooler named Dow Jones, and the prehistoric miracle of a blue heron's foot. We may be afraid, but we're still amused — sometimes, even awed.
Looking squarely at the way things are, glossing over none of the absurdities and injustices of contemporary life, Julie Bruck pays ardent attention to it all. This is a subtle art, restrained. Its power often lies in what is not said right out but which fires up in a reader. The touch is light, even when the subject is heavy. One has a steady sense of being trusted to catch and feel the intangible muchness housed in deceptively plain poems. (From Brick Books)
How to Avoid Huge Ships is a finalist for the 2019 Governor General's Literary Award for poetry. The winner will be announced on Oct. 29, 2019.