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THIS HERE PARADISE begins with an epigraph from the work of Welsh poet, Menna Elfyn: “your language a hymn/ lost in the multitude,/ requiem for a world/ that’s forgetting how to be”. As if in response to this “forgetting,” Wharton’s poems move from the personal to cross a panorama of hopeful attentiveness. Clear images combine with a distinctive sense of rhythm and music to shape a collection both straight-ahead readable and carefully thoughtful, serious, and playful. There is a recognition that paradise includes both highs and lows. The presumptive duality of these two conditions suggests a tension that resolves through the book’s five sections, as Wharton opens a suitcase of birds and watches them soar over a landscape alive with radiant, open waters.
Calvin Wharton is the Chair of Creative Writing at Douglas College in New Westminster, BC, and edited Event: The Douglas College Review from 1996-2001. He is the author of VISUALIZED CHEMISTRY (Tsunami, 1987), Three Songs by Hank Williams (Turnstone Press, 2002) and THE SONG COLLIDES (Anvil Press, 2011). He co-edited the poetry anthology, East of Main (Arsenal Pulp Press, 1989), with Tom Wayman, and co-wrote Rowing (Boston Mills Press, 1994), with Canadian rower Silken Laumann. Aside from teaching, he has managed a variety of jobs, including working as a sandblaster, a gardener, a sawmill worker, and a ranch hand. Author City: VANCOUVER, BC CAN