Poetry. Precision-built poems that attempt CPR on their own irregular metre, on their own unreliable meaning. Vancouver poet Shaun Robinson's IF YOU DISCOVER A FIRE is a debut collection of poems that make a virtue of their failure to communicate. They forage through the syntax and vocabulary of late-night voicemails, letters to the editor, songs invented in the shower, professional jargon, "Witness Wanted" signs, technical manuals, and text-message typos to assemble verbal collages that raise more questions than they answer. In settings ranging from Montreal's Mile End to a commercial flight above the Midwest to a wildfire in the mountains of British Columbia, these are poems rooted in workingclass Canadian experience, poems that flirt with both safety and danger, that drone on like drunken strangers in a bar. Gathering reference from weather reports, football announcers, aerial disappearances, and the movie Groundhog Day, these poems sound their forlorn yawp through the alleys of East Vancouver.
Shaun Robinson's poetry has appeared in the Puritan, the Malahat Review, Prairie Fire, Poetry Is Dead, and the Rusty Toque, and received Honourable Mention in ARC Magazine's 2018 Poem of the Year contest. Born in 100 Mile House, BC, Robinson has lived in Vancouver since 2006. He studied in UBC's Creative Writing MFA program, where he served as the poetry editor of PRISM international. He is also the author of the chapbook Manmade Clouds and currently works as an editor for the chapbook press Rahila's Ghost. IF YOU DISCOVER A FIRE (Brick Books, 2020) is his debut collection.Author City: VANCOUVER, BC CAN