ISBN-10: 1552452360
ISBN-13: 9781552452363
104 pp, Paperback
Oct 15 2010
$16.95 CAD
Note: This title is now also available as a digital eBook.

Finalist for the Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize for Poetry!

A spotlight appears to light a large, ornate grandfather clock. The clock displays the correct time and is in perfect working order.
       The actors sneak behind the audience and set the theatre on fire.

Jonathan Ball’s Clockfire is a suite of poetic blueprints for imaginary plays that would be impossible to produce – plays in which, for example, the director burns out the sun, actors murder their audience or the laws of physics are defiled. The poems in a sense replace the need for drama, and are predicated on the idea that modern theatre lacks both ‘clocks’ and ‘fire’ and thus fails to offer its audiences immediate, violent engagement. They sometimes resemble the scores for Fluxus ‘happenings,’ but replace the casual aesthetic and DIY simplicity of Fluxus art with something more akin to the brutality of Artaud’s theatre of cruelty. Italo Calvino as rewritten by H. P. Lovecraft, Ball’s ‘plays’ break free of the constraints of reality and artistic category to revel in their own dazzling, magnificent horror.

‘In these spare, nightmarish theatrescapes, Ball directs our ‘impossible dreams’ by blurring the script between actor and audience, the real and the staged, the lived and the dreamed, the self and the other ... At times reading more as horror-film treatments than prose poems (no doubt Ball’s intention), Clockfire finds its strength in irony.’ – Winnipeg Free Press

‘[Ball is] one of our most exciting young poets.’ – Robert Kroetsch, author of The Studhorse Man

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