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Meet an Author: Andy McGuire, a fresh poetic voice out of Canada

Andy McGuire

In Andy McGuire’s poetry, we are bombarded with images, from birds to Floridians, mosquitoes to beaches underneath boardwalks. Readers must duck and weave, eluding their sharp edges and simultaneously hoping to catch them like raindrops. McGuire’s poems have appeared in Riddle Fence, Hazlitt, and The Walrus. He earned the right to appear at the Bookworm Literary Festival after winning the first-ever Poetry Games held at the International Festival of Authors in Toronto.

Books available at The Bookworm:

Country Club (2015)

Events at The Bookworm Beijing:

Friday, March 18, 8 pm: Voices of Canada, with Dionne Brand, Michael Crummey, Anakana Schofield; moderated by Nathan VanderKlippe

Sunday, March 20, 4 pm: The Meaning of Contemporary Poetry, with Michael Crummey, Mariko Nagai, Nicholas YB Wong; moderated by Simon Shieh

Country Club

Select Opening Lines:

From “Pool,” the leading poem from Country Club:

I’m too tired to care today.

It costs too much to care what you say.

I love you too much to care anyway.

Two Poems:

“Minor Kingdoms”

Drifting with my Daisy

One lazy afternoon,

The world was a fall fair

Where you shoot balloons.

I took aim.

The bird epilepsied from the rafters,

Left eye socket usurped

By a silver pellet.

To see it suffer was not

What I was after.

It was embarrassing.

I cocked and shot

Until my Daisy shook.

I lost count of the shots it took.


“The Bomb”

The beautiful bombs

In the dresses

On the dance floor

Are the sort of bombs

Worth going to war for.

Manley puffs out his chest,

Oppenheimer’s khakis show

Signs of civil unrest.

They have mankind on the mind.

It’s a bird, it’s a plane,

It’s a shame

Bombs are so bad at charades.

Big bombs are passé,

IEDS are all the rage.

A drone a day

Keeps the big bombs at bay.

I make my body

A bomb,

It’s the best way

To get my chest off.

I’m your man,

I open up

At the bomb’s behest,

In the flash of a lifespan.

Book Synopsis, from the back jacket:

A lyrical wilderness of power, wealth, leisure and desire, the poems of Country Club freewheel across state lines with panache and flagrant feeling. In this bold debut from Andy McGuire, all passions – even unpleasant ones – stare down the barrel of a world in which freedom is the fifty-first state, and love is the eleventh province.

Andy McGuire is an author participating at the 2016 Bookworm Literary Festival. To read about other participating authors, please see our Meet an Author series.

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