Kingdom, Phylum

By (author) Adam Dickinson
Categories: Poetry
Publisher: Brick Books
Paperback : 9781894078542, 80 pages, August 2006


Ecologically aware poems, hardwired to the intellect and the heart in equal measure. ;

Adam Dickinson?s poems, with firm intellectual bite and imaginative scope, reach fresh levels of poetic?and ecological?awareness. Sometimes reminiscent of Wallace Stevens, sometimes of Christopher Dewdney, and with the ghost of Foucault always in attendance, they ply a language that is cool and precise on the surface to open into the deep resonance of geologic time. Imaginative and contemplative, this writing is bound to refresh the vision of the most world-weary reader.

For some time, we expected

the end of the world
to be a mushroom.
A vengeful good, a good
of fire, clouded thought.
But every spring they come out of the ground
like universal suffrage,
a writ of habeas corpus,
speech before writing.
They say, dirt. They say, get up.

from “The Good, part I”

The poems in Kingdom, Phylum push the boundaries of thought and language. Bringing lyrical and unsystematic modes of understanding into play, and keeping his ear tuned to the many disruptions involved in taxonomical arrangement, Dickinson shows how poetry both participates in, and unsettles, the provisional orders which develop between word and world.

“a poet intensely, intricately, and metaphorically engaged with the world, the natural world in particular. ”  – League of Canadian Poets website

“Dickinson?s poems are luminous, subtle, and exceptional. ” – Books in Canada

Adam Dickinson is a professor of poetry and poetics at Brock University. His first book, Cartography and Walking (1-894078-22-5), was shortlisted for an Alberta Book Award. He lives in St. Catharines.


" ...Delightfully at ease with his knowledge of biology, taxonomy, geometry, geology, and such ... Dickinson understands our evolution, marries it to our enthrallment with religion, and creates poems that are marvelous manuals of the mechanics of blood and spirit."--Bill Roberston, Saskatoon StarPhoenix

"He has flipped the technique' of poetry on its head and brought it hurtling like atoms colliding and rushing with atoms up against the naming systems of science."--Jason Rostein, Event

"Rarely does a series of poems reverberate in the marrow, shake some essence of thought or being ... an exhilarating read. I have fallen into a whole new world of poetry because of it."--Yvonne Blomer, Arc Magazine