dark fish & other infernos is as slippery as the fish that swim through its pages. Governor General’s Award-winning poet Joe Rosenblatt (author of Top Soil, A Tentacled Mother and more), and Catherine Owen (author of Frenzy and Seeing Lessons) slip in and out of shape-shifting personas, penning letters that can never stay letters. Pressing each other for stories, poems, and arguments, the correspondents cast nets wide and scatter literature, history and oceanography through their missives like so many fish on deck.
What people are saying about dark fish & other infernos:
“…just finished “dark fish & other infernos” and absolutely loved it. Upon finishing it I rooted around for my copy of Rilke’s “Letters to a Young Poet” with which [this] book, in my opinion, has many similarities.
“dark fish” is one of those rare books that not only speaks about the creative process but manages to invite the reader to enter the dark “to experience your own monolothic loneliness.” The letters not only advise Argenta to “get out on the edge of darkness” they encourage the reader to walk on the same ledge.
The book is a stunning treatise on poetry. Catherine is the perfect student and presents her own wonderful challenges to [Rosenblatt]. She is, as [he] say[s], “exquisitely contagious.” Whereas she is encouraged to delve into the depths, [he is] a true hallucinogenic inviting in ghosts, sharks, angels and cuttlefish. There is no separation between [Rosenblatt] and [his] imagination…
Necessity is at the heart of it…the necessity to write poetry – not for the prizes of acclaim or any other such bullshit – but for the sheer necessity of it. It advises, as Rilke does to “go into yourself. Search for the reason that bids you write; find out whether spreading out its roots in the deepest places of your heart, acknowledge to yourself whether you would have to die if it were denied you to write.”
[Owen and Rosenblatt have] not written a safe book. It is an inferno and yes, that heat will burn you alive.”
– poet Eve Joseph