Organs, hormones, toxins, lesions: what is a body? In 3 Summers, Lisa Robertson takes up her earlier concerns with form and literary precedent, and turns toward the timeliness of embodiment. What is form’s time? Here the form of life called a poem speaks with the body’s mortality, its thickness, its play. The ten poem-sequences in 3 Summers inflect a history of textual voices – Lucretius, Marx, Aby Warburg, Deleuze, the Sogdian Sutras – in a lyricism that insists on analysis and revolt, as well as the pleasures of description. The poet explores the mysterious oddness of the body, its languor and persistence, to test how it shapes the materiality of thinking, which includes rivers and forests. But in these poems’ landscapes, the time of nature is inherently political. Now only time is wild, and only time – embodied here in Lisa Robertson’s forceful cadences – can tell.
Lisa Robertson is a Canadian poet and essayist. Born in Toronto in 1961, she was a longtime resident of Vancouver, where in the early 90s she began writing, publishing and collaborating in a community of artists and poets that included Artspeak Gallery and The Kootenay School of Writing. She has continued these activities for 30 years, publishing books, leaflets and posters, translating poetry and linguistics from French, lecturing and teaching internationally, and continuing her ongoing study into the political constitution of lyric voice. In 2017 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Letters by Emily Carr University of Art and Design, and in 2018, the Foundation for the Contemporary Arts in NY awarded her the inaugural CD Wright Award in Poetry. She has taught at Cambridge University, Princeton, UC Berkeley, California College of the Arts, Piet Zwart Institute, Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics and American University of Paris, as well as holding research and residency positions at institutions across Canada, the US, and Europe. Lisa currently lives in France.