New poetry and drama released September 19!
"In their stunning rendition of the great Indian epic Mahabharata, Ravi Jain and Miriam Fernandes brilliantly reverse the whole concept of what Bertolt Brecht famously advised theatre directors: to make the familiar, unfamiliar. Jain and Fernandes have turned the unfamiliar into the familiar. The 4,000-year-old saga most Indians grew up with is made accessible to a contemporary audience the world over. No mean feat. The play, true to its source, crosses all boundaries of culture, class, and geography. Its timeless storytelling and evocative stage design is transformed into a saga for the world, with its fundamental emotions of human nature – power, hate, jealousy, greed, and lust. To be gob-smacked by this innovation would be an understatement. Immerse yourself in this take on the Mahabharata and travel with it in time into the past, present, and future of humanity."
– Deepa Mehta
"Ravi Jain and Miriam Fernandes’s contemporary take on the Mahabharata is one of the most beautiful emotional journeys I have had the privilege to witness. It is inspiring, mind broadening, and speaks to all the senses. It even brings you back to the origins of theatre itself, when people would gather in the quarries around a bonfire to tell stories. With their tasteful use of technology, dance, and opera, the 4,000-year-old Sanskrit poem comes to life and feels more universal than ever. A captivating theatre experience, from the first flame to the last pixel."
– Robert Lepage
"Matthew Gwathmey’s poems, springboarding from a genre of fitness manual popular in the early twentieth century, tumble us into the present through tests gamily set for body and mind. As ripped as his gymnast protagonists—evoked so fetchingly in the book’s illustrations—Gwathmey writes a poetry eschewing the lyrical in favour of a stripped-down, athletic language that gives shape to 'what must remain / nameless.' There’re so many ways to read ourselves into Tumbling for Amateurs. Go toe to toe with these poems and they’ll tone up your grip on what poetry is."
– John Barton, author of Lost Family
“We have no other way to touch each other. / Really no other way to touch each other. / We seek this particular exercise because / we have no other way to touch each other." Like the tumbling acts from which they spring, Gwathmey's poems are delightfully performative. They leap, loop, and reconfigure familiar forms into fresh and acrobatic new intimacies. Slyly queering his source text — an early 20th century tumbling manual for young men salvaged from the dusty closet of family history — Gwathmey transforms instruction into seduction as he conducts a tender and playful archeology of desire."
– Suzanne Buffam, author of A Pillow Book
“Gwathmey's poems go together like a troupe, somersaulting through the vocabulary of the way a body moves. They turn the still past into this moving present.”
– Paul Legault, author of The Tower