Breakwater Books, Spring 2015
Stephen Rowe’s geo•logics—his highly anticipated follow-up to Never More There—binds the impermanent to the permanent. With sustained inquiries into loss and reason, Rowe seeks a motivation capable of accepting pain, and reveals the outlines of our temporary lives backlit by a radiant sense of time’s passage. These poems quietly unearth the symbiotic relationship between landscape and self, capturing our comings and goings in formally graceful and chiselled verse tended by a patient and stoic intelligence. Here, the passing leaves its trace, and the imprint endures within the abiding strength of art.
Praise for geo•logics:
“Stephen Rowe’s geo•logics speaks profoundly and beautifully about our “place” — or, rather, our endemic sense of being somehow “displaced,” that somehow we are not in the right place, we have lost opportunities, or freedoms[…]never has our contemporary version of this spiritual ailment been so originally and eloquently described.
“The beauty of Rowe’s language, and the intelligence of his observations place geo•logics among the most meaningful and memorable books I have read for some years.”
— M. Travis Lane, The Fiddlehead
“Rowe’s meditations on his place in the world suggest the ecopoetics of Thoreau….geo*logics successfully mixes classic aspects of poetry with a deft use of language and form to create something wholly Rowe’s own.”
—Atlantic Books Today
“His lyric exploration tacks back and forth between a present-day Gander and ancient classical figures, swinging from the quotidian to the legendary.”
NEVER MORE THERE
Nightwood Editions, Fall 2009
How do we reconcile story with fact? What must one lose for the other to exist? In this debut collection, Rowe explores the nature of mythology and how it morphs in time to retain cultural and personal significance. Folk tales, supernatural creatures, family histories and personal elegies come together to expose the cohabitation of the dead and the living; the relationship between cold absence and stark presence.
Praise for Never More There:
“Rowe recasts the small tragedies of his life in Gander as soaring for-the-ages tragedy in what amounts to a memorable debut.”
—The Winnipeg Free Press
“Never More There is landscape poetry, in a broad and almost spiritual sense of the word. Read it slowly and deliberately….”
“There are some gorgeous lines scattered throughout (“coursing with the little heat a wound can bring”) and the second section contains a handful of fully realized poems, particularly the hypnotic “I Knew a Maid,” which has the timeless feel of folklore about it.”
—The Quill & Quire
“One of a new generation of Newfoundland poets who are inspired by the riches of their culture, Stephen Rowe casts a meditative eye on the world about him.”
“Again and again while reading Never More There I was struck by arresting lines and images, by Stephen Rowe’s rigorous attention to the natural world and the world of words. Eloquent and passionate, Rowe is poet of real promise.”
“This is why people read poetry: to savour something crisp, vivid and apt.”