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Professor Rishma Dunlop's new poetry collection offers glimpse of lovers embroiled in secrets

Professor Rishma Dunlop's new poetry collection offers glimpse of lovers embroiled in secrets

 ...if I could preach to birds
I'd tell them – fly and kiss, lives depend on this.

                      "The Language of Birds"

Lover Through Departure, the newest collection of poetry by York English and education Professor Rishma Dunlop, offers up an enticing glimpse of lovers as they weave a world of secrets with their affairs of the heart.

The book, published by Mansfield Press, is a powerful overview of Dunlop's career-to-date and will launch Monday, Nov. 14 at 7:30m at The Boat, Kensington Market in Toronto.

Dunlop has staked her poetic landscape in the sensual territory of love in the urban environment. Lover Through Departure features new and selected work about encounters in cities around the world, in hotels, motels and on the road, where identity and authenticity come face to face with desire and the refusal to betray the heart's most intimate instincts.

Travel is central to this book. As Dunlop writes: “Love is to imagine, to be complicit with distance. I speak to you across cities. My mouth is on your pillow.”

This new collection by the diasporic poet is sophisticated and tender, a poetry of love and mortality, captured by a compelling witness to the beauty and violence of the 21st century. At every turn, the reader discovers an undeniable radiance, a sense of grace tinged with an erotic edge, a riveting, distinctive voice.

Lover Through Departure includes “Paris”, an innovative lyric story in the form of a traveller’s journal that was a finalist for the CBC Literary Awards and the Vanderbilt-Exile Fiction Prize.

A finalist for the CBC Literary Awards in 1998 and again in 2009 and winner of the Emily Dickinson Prize for Poetry in 2003, Dunlop is also a playwright, translator and essayist. Her poetry collections include Metropolis (Mansfield Press, 2005), Reading Like A Girl (Black Moss Press, 2004) and The Body of My Garden (Mansfield Press, 2002). White Album (Inanna Publications, 2008) combines Dunlop’s poems with paintings by Suzanne Northcott. Her radio play, The Raj Kumari's Lullaby, was commissioned by CBC Radio in 2005.

Left: Rishma Dunlop

Dunlop was also the 2009-2010 Canada-US Fulbright Research Chair in Creative Writing at the Virginia Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University. In 2011, she was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada for her achievement in the arts and humanities.

Launches of Lover Through Departure are also scheduled in Vancouver on Nov. 17 for the Robson Reading Series, Montreal on Nov. 20, Ottawa at the Raw Sugar Café on Nov. 21 and in Kingston at the Grad Club on Nov. 22.

For more information, visit Dunlop's Facebook page.

Republished courtesy of YFile– York University’s daily e-bulletin.