In his ninth collection of poetry, Keith Garebian pays attention to inner and outer realities of place and psyche, turning conventional landscape poetry inside-out. Focusing on the Lakeshore Road area of Mississauga/Etobicoke, Garebian explores small and large things, creating a space in which inner and outer landscapes meet, resulting in a striking poetic vessel of cognition, perception, and sensitivity. Meditatively alert, these poems open up perceptions of a sentient world within a specific geography, history, and sociology, while providing insights into suburbia and some of its characters, including the poet and his own personal life. The world of lake, park, and road is conjoined with a suburban world of apartment, shopping mall, immigrants, and fraught lives through language that has a deep-rooted sense of mood, tone, and melody.
Keith Garebian (son of an Armenian father and Anglo-Indian mother) was born in Bombay, India, and immigrated to Canada in 1961. Following his PhD in Canadian and Commonwealth Literature from Queen's University, he began his freelance career as literary and theatre critic, producing over two dozen books, two chapbooks, and hundreds of articles, features, interviews, and reviews. A resident of Mississauga, he has won numerous nominations and awards, including the William Saroyan Medal (Armenia) and four Mississauga Arts Awards.
"As the title In the Bowl of My Eye suggests, these are the poems of an astute and compassionate ob-server. Brimming with insight into human nature and our place in the natural world, they are also rich in literary allusion. Like Anne Carson's 'whacher' in 'The Glass Essay', the narrator awakens us to a deep, intuitive, and unsentimental worldview. We are invited to see everything: neighbours, strangers in the park, and the evolving physical world in intimate detail while moving effortlessly throughout centuries and across cultures.We see the borders that divide--but also the essential oneness of all. The work of a master poet, these poems bear reading and rereading as the eye that guides our vision continues to both comfort and distress." --Dorothy Sjöholm, author of why the telephone stopped ringing
"As acerbic as he is tender, Garebian observes our age--and our agings--with the precision of an anthropologist and the catholicity of a flâneur. His weapon is not microscope but magnifying glass. As it scans Garebian's suburban milieu with Darwinesque curiosity, it somehow always catches the light, producing frequent and unexpected conflagrations, tiny sacred fires." --Gavin Barrett, author of Understan