I'm excited to announce that I have a new book publishing Fall 2019 from Coach House Books! The book is titled THE NATIONAL GALLERY and collects poetry about my children, Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Rainer Maria Rilke, iPhones, Starbucks, Moby-Dick, and a strange mix of other oddities.
Here's what filmmaker Guy Maddin, director of My Winnipeg has to say about THE NATIONAL GALLERY:
“In THE NATIONAL GALLERY, Jonathan Ball has installed a wondrous collection of the narcotic, gorgeous, and hilarious. With the pretext of institutional gravitas, the poems are curated and situated with surprise in mind across the galleries of an imagined floor plan. Unlikely works with fantastic titles hang in grand halls and velvety salons, or hawk themselves in the gift shop. There is in situ poetry wafted out amid the onion-sizzling franchises of a museum food court, a venue that astonishes as much as Kafka's Nature Theater of Oklahoma. In these long dark corridors, Ball's phrases often fold in on themselves suddenly to produce startling mouthfuls of dream and delight. Text winks at us from spurious trompe l'oeil canvases. The reader doesn't even notice the trapdoor that's opened beneath their giddy feet.”— Guy Maddin, filmmaker of My Winnipeg and The Saddest Music in the World
Sign up below to be notified when the book goes on sale, at which point I will have a special pre-order offer that includes additional free books and a lot of special, exclusive goodies! Even if you're already on my mailing list, sign up below so that you don't miss the special offer. I'll also send you my favourite poem from the book as a sneak peek.
Here is some more praise for THE NATIONAL GALLERY, from Giller-Prize-finalist Gary Barwin:
“Ball is not only a virtuoso of language and form, but a virtuoso of our present moment, exploring how we are entwined in words and history and how we find ourself here and now, surrounded by ourselves and our words. While his poems often resist and doubt what language can do — considering the gravitational pull of its alluring and easy truths and distortions — the exact same poems show us exactly what it can do, with wit, incision, invention, humility and compassion. These is a brilliant and profound book, often hilarious and moving, alive and alert to our life, our language, our darkness and our love.”— Gary Barwin, author of Yiddish for Pirates
And more praise from author and professor Natalee Caple:
“THE NATIONAL GALLERY is brilliant and smothering. Ball sculpts a heartbreaking figure of an artist like and unlike the author, living quotidian life, out of the shifting material of the unconsciousness. ‘Ghosts carouse' in this haunting and haunted collection.”— Natalee Caple, author of In Calamity's Wake
And more praise from author and professor Daniel Scott Tysdal:
“In THE NATIONAL GALLERY, Jonathan Ball deploys his distinctive blend of sinister insight and munificent imagination, illuminating horror and dark humour, artful precision and formal play. With this, he dissects, dresses up in, demolishes, and revivifies the techniques, traditions, and institutions that feed, and are fed by, our impulse to make art. This is the poetry collection as décollagewrought from paper and paint, price tags and apocalypse, ghosts and human skin.”— Daniel Scott Tysdal, author of The Writing Moment: A Practical Guide to Creating Poems
Don't forget to sign up below to be notified when the book goes on sale, at which point I will have a special pre-order offer that includes additional free books and a lot of special, exclusive goodies! I'll also send you my favourite poem from the book as a sneak peek.