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Common Place

Common Place

By Sarah Pinder
Categories: Poetry
Paperback : 9781552453469, 88 pages, April 2017

Common Place explores the stories of shifting, resilient bodies and landscapes bound by systems of capital and power. From thin threads of text messages across borders to encounters with strangers in the crush of rush-hour transit, Sarah Pinder names our most private and public moments of seeing and being seen. With considered, quiet urgency, this poem witnesses our ambiguous, aching present and looks toward what comes next.

‘Of the long poem’s many tactics, its attention to detail is one of my favourites. It’s a particular joy, albeit a dark one. What could easily veer into heavy-handed musings on violence and capitalism are condensed to a detail, a “clot of hair in the storm drain” mirrored later by a shopping cart’s “one wheel/dragging with a clot of dust.” Pinder switches lanes smoothly, moving between controlled understatement and intense moments of lyricism.’
Globe and Mail

‘Watch for the places where Pinder goes for the imperative: like the book as a whole, these commands are generous, beautiful, and difficult lifelines thrown from a fellow survivor of the present.’
– Jennifer Nelson, author of Aim at the Centaur Stealing Your Wife

Common Place feels like the logbook of a survivor, one that shows how the intimate and the idiosyncratic persist within the post-capitalist technosphere. A tattered record keeping, Common Place is friend of the abject landscape, “home of the lesser, lowercase subject.” Grasp its compassionate disposition, and this fragmentary poem reveals the affective centre of its ingeniously dissociative fabric.’
– Sue Sinclair, author of Heaven’s Thieves

Reviews

‘If you have ever found yourself thinking about how societal norms and the constraints of late capitalism affect human connection, Sarah Pinder’s Common Place will provide a moving (in both senses) playground for your thoughts. Pinder layers metaphors so securely the poems can feel like ideograms that both summon strange conceptual complexes and enliven familiar ones. The juxtapositions sometimes masquerade as traditional imagism; but they suggest that theircomplex alignments are cosmic, the temporary but true alignments of human rather than celestial spheres. Just when the layering gets most intense, the erotic other appears, offering an even more dangerous transcendence. Watch for the poems where Pinder goes for the imperative: like the book as a whole, these commands are generous, beautiful, and difficult lifelines thrown from a fellow survivor of the present.’

– Jennifer Nelson, author of Aim at the Centaur Stealing Your Wife