Chalmers Arts Foundation Fellow Judith Ariana Fitzgerald is one of our most neglected national treasures in Canada, and has over thirty works to her credit, including poetry, biography, anthologies, and children’s books. Short-listed for (or recipient of) several major honors including the Fiona Mee, Trillium, Governor-General’s Poetry and Writers’ Choice Awards, Fitzgerald is perhaps best known for her newspaper blog/column that fearlessly achieves the remarkable feat of raising The Globe & Mail to the condition of poetry.
George Bowering and I have exchanged emails every so often about our mutual interest in baseball, and — although this hasn’t been the explicit topic of our casual backs and forth — about why baseball has been such an attraction to poets writing in the experimental tradition. It might just be that because there are so many fans of baseball, and because there are many experimental poets, the demographic probabilities are in favor of producing the Bowerings. But I think it’s more than that. I’m pleased to recommend Bowering’s Baseball: A Poem in the Magic Number 9 (inexpensive paperback available here), but that’s not why I’m writing today. Today I want to introduce you to a book-length poem Kevin Verrone has been writing. It is not published yet but, as I understand it, is complete in manuscript. The title of the book is “Box Score : An Autobiography” and has, in addition to the fairly standard quip about our childhoods from the late Bart Giamatti, a lovely and relevant epigraph from Andrew Zawaki:
: weighted and found wanting : this unaccustomed light
Verrone’s book is a series of prose poems and here are several: