Stephen Brockwell

ISBN 9781771262811

$18.00 CDN/USA 92 pages


Nick Lowe wrote, “There stands the naked ape in a monkey suit.” If he hadn’t, Stephen Brockwell might have. Immune to the Sacred is loaded with the poet’s trademark intelligence and dark humour. These poems, both artful and direct, strive to find sense in this stupid world, in stupid us. In the midst of the despair, a profound humanness and generosity emerge. Read this book by this underrated poetry superstar and watch “the sunlight catch / the satellite of your delusions / on its re-entry.”
—STUART ROSS, author of Motel of the Opposable Thumbs

Open this book to an acutely intelligent mind coming to terms with nature, science, politics, beauty, and love. Stephen Brockwell is not really immune to the sacred. He is immune, maybe, to sclerotic systems of belief and ideologies, but he keens in on frigate birds, nesting tapirs, cats, and dogs. His poems are churchless choirs of daily misery and psalms looking for answers in the face of ecological degradation. His joy in the play of language and perception takes care of bad stuff: “My painted turtle dances for jars of flies.” English—Brockwell knows this to the bone—is what we have, and making the best of it brings glee to the heart and mind. Who would find fault here: “We / aspire to more than the nothing the body / will retire to…”? I love this book.
— JOHN FOY author of No One Leaves the World Unhurt, winner of the Donald Justice Prize

In Immune to the Sacred, Stephen Brockwell has extracted from the ether a marvellously intelligent and fully embodied collection of poems. An aversion to engrained obeisance has opened multiple doors to perception here—this is poetry of metaphorical and philosophical power.
— ALICE BURDICK author of Deportment: The Poetry of Alice Burdick

Stephen Brockwell is a Montreal poet living in Ottawa. His sixth book, All of Us Reticent, Here, Together (Mansfield, 2016) won the Archibald Lampman Award for poetry. Stephen is a director of the Tree Reading Series, one of Canada’s oldest poetry series, with Avonlea Fotheringham and Brandon Wint. After thirty years in IT, Stephen now works for Esri, the Environmental Systems Research Institute. Stephen has participated in the Engineering Change Lab process for transforming engineering practice toward sustainable infrastructure and communities.


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