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Poetry Canadian

Same Diff

by (author) Donato Mancini

Initial publish date
May 2017
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2017
    List Price

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Same Diff by Donato Mancini meets at the intersection of contemporary poetry, art, and current politics. Influenced by documentary cinema such as the films of Frederic Wiseman, Dada poets, montage techniques, and a range of modern poets, Same Diff explores the way social and economic histories become imprinted within language itself.

The political and poetic melancholy of our moment is revealed in a long poem on climate change, particularly the disappearance of snow, while the real-life effects of fiscal austerity and poverty are voiced in fragments conveying social neuroses that stem from amplified, unfair competition for basic necessities.

The nonce forms of Same Diff draw attention to their construction and history using monotype fonts, speaking to the surfaces of words and paper, and diverging from a sole focus on meaning.

Each poem introduces a dominant motif that develops through repetition and incremental variations, sourcing language from news-papers, online sources, and overheard conversations to create an emotive effect, as felt in music.

About the author

Donato Mancini makes visual and procedural poetry, bookworks, and visual art. His books and chapbooks include Snowline (2015), Buffet World (2011), Fact ‘N’ Value (2011), Hell Passport no.22 (2008), Æthel (2007), 58 Free Coffees (2006), and Ligatures (2005). Notable exhibitions of Mancini’s visual artworks have included exhibitions through Artspeak, Western Front, Gallery Atsui, Malaspina Printmaker’s Society, and CSA. He performed with Gabriel Saloman in their noisepoetry/noisecomedy/noisemusic ensemble in the 2013 LIVE! Biennale of performance art, and as part of Concrete Scores at Open Space.Mancini’s published critical writing includes work on the archive, time, and memory in Anamnesia: Unforgetting (2011), and a discourse analysis of poetry reviews in You Must Work Harder to Write Poetry of Excellence (2012). His previous full-length book, Loitersack (New Star, 2014), is a labyrinthine commonplace book where critical, theoretical, and paraliterary tendencies intersect in the forms of poetry, poetics, theory, theory theatre, laugh particles, and many, many questions. He holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of British Columbia.Talonbooks published his poetry book Same Diff in 2017.

Donato Mancini's profile page


  • Short-listed, Griffin Poetry Prize

Editorial Reviews

“Structurally rigorous … Same Diff takes poetry to the art gallery and then there’s an explosion. … Mancini’s lists, with their insistent repetition and procedural tenacity are monumental, glacially shifting edifices that deface empire’s pristine walls with their own babble. Mancini [re]says the same things over and over, collects linguistic violence and travesties under the heading ‘same diff,’ contending that there is no essential difference between them; that taken together they are the testimony to patterns of physical and ideological violence. Same diff? Mancini doesn’t think so. Neutrality is not an option.”
Contemporary Verse 2 (CV2)

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