This is the second edition of award-winning Nisga'a poet Jordan Abel's second collection of poetry, Un/inhabited, which maps the terrain of the public domain to create a layered investigation of the interconnections between language and land.
Abel constructed the book's source text by compiling ninety-one complete western novels found on Project Gutenberg, an online archive of public domain works. Using his word processor's Ctrl+F function, he searched the document in its totality for words that relate to the political and social aspects of land, territory, and ownership. Each search query represents a study in context (How was this word deployed? What surrounded it? What is left over once that word is removed?) that accumulates toward a representation of the public domain as a discoverable and inhabitable body of land.
Featuring essays by Project Space founder Tracy Stefanucci and independent curator Kathleen Ritter - the first pieces of scholarship on Abel's work - Un/inhabited reminds us of the power of language as material and invites us to reflect on what is present when we see nothing.
About this Author
Jordan Abel is a Nisga'a writer from Vancouver. His debut poetry collection, The Place of Scraps (Talonbooks, 2013), was awarded the BC Book Prizes' Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize and was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. Abel was an editor for Poetry Is Dead magazine and the former poetry editor for PRISM international and Geist. He holds an MFA from the University of British Columbia and a BA from the University of Alberta. His work has been published in journals and magazines across Canada, including CV2, The Capilano Review, Prairie Fire, dANDelion, ARC Poetry Magazine, Descant, Broken Pencil, OCW Magazine, filling Station, Grain, and Canadian Literature. His chapbooks Scientia and Injun have been published by above/ground press and JackPine Press, respectively.
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