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Poetry Death

The Absence of Zero

by (author) R. Kolewe

Book*hug Press
Initial publish date
Nov 2021
Death, General, Canadian
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2021
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Nov 2021
    List Price

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The Absence of Zero is a triumphantly-executed celebration of the long poem tradition. Consisting of 256 16-line quartets, and 34 free-form interruptions, this slow-moving haunting work is a beautiful example of thinking in language, a meditation that explores time and memory in both content and form. The 20th century is already more than 20 years past: The Absence of Zero is Kolewe's elegy to that era, and the disparate fragments of its ideas that continue to affect and disrupt our present.


About the author

R. Kolewe was born in Montreal. Educated in physics and engineering at the University of Toronto, he pursued a successful career in the software industry for many years, while living in a picturesque village in southwestern Ontario. Always a reader, he began to devote his time to writing not long after returning to Toronto in 2007. His work has appeared online at ditch, e-ratio, and The Puritan, and he has been associated with the online magazine of Canadian poetics, He also takes photographs. Find Kolewe's work online at, or follow him on Twitter @rkolewe.

R. Kolewe's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“The echo of phrases repeating, shifted into different contexts, allow for a shifting, and even fluid, perception…This really is a remarkable book.” —periodicities

"The interiors of R. Kolewe's epic poem The Absence of Zero, are anything but ... observance upon observance then another, continuous action … past and continuing, teeter, falter, tick by, lob between thoughts, threads, memories, what is, what was, what might befall, or. "Read again. Nothing beautiful." and absolutely absorbing, returning again and again to this place, this street, this window, this room. Know that once you enter, there is no going back. The presence of absence, all too familiar, begins to read, occupy you. It's a glorious achievement. Prepare to be mesmerized." —Kirby, author of Poetry is Queer

"R. Kolewe's The Absence of Zero is a daring, daily progression that depends upon return as palimpsest. Call it what it is. Gorgeous. Steadfastly urgent. Patient as dawn." —Margaret Christakos, author of charger and Dear Birch