We’re getting set to launch PRISM 53.2 early next month! The issue will be a real treat for poetry fans, featuring new work by Robyn Sarah, Don Coles, Alice Major and Russell Thornton, among many others.
A highlight of the issue will be two poems from Laurelyn Whitt‘s “Tar Songs” series. One of the primary inspirations for Whitt’s series is Ian Willms’ photojournalism project “As Long as the Sun Shines“, which documents how life in the indigenous communities of Fort Chipewyan and Fort McKay has been affected by the development of the Alberta Oil Sands.
As a sneak preview, here is one of Whitt’s poems, based off of this photo from Willms’ series.
Tar Songs: Maestro after a photograph by Ian Willms You have our attention now. Yellow-slickered figure raising a baton to blue sky. The clouds pause hold a collective breath Syncrude's smoke hangs in clueless waiting. Something is about to happen: a hydrocarbon concerto, perhaps, or the oiled duck symphony. "Our desires," the program notes declare, "rarely come in desirable form but must be extracted from the more complex." The dross that remains after what we desire is taken away rises, forms Great Boreal Lakes. It has already swamped the orchestra, is lapping at our feet. You float upon it, alone sinking into your final well-attended performance visible from space.