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Jeramy Dodds lives in Orono, Ontario. His poems have been translated into Finnish, French, Latvian, Swedish, German and Icelandic. In 2007 he held a residency at the Baltic Centre for Writers and Translators on the island of Gotland, Sweden. He is the winner of the 2006 Bronwen Wallace Memorial Award and the 2007 CBC Literary Award in poetry. He works as a research archaeologist and co-edits for littlefishcartpress.

Crabwise to the Hounds

Coach House Books
2009 Shortlist
Canada

Judges’ Citation

A research archaeologist by training, Dodds is sounding the deeps here. A marvellous debut.

We are only allowed to live/due to some colossal misunderstanding’ writes Jeramy Dodds in this astonishing first book. The exploration of this misunderstanding is the subject of Crabwise to the Hounds, and Dodds’ language confronts the entropy with some wondrous chaos of its own. There is a cyclonic lexical energy here, deep intelligence, and a serious commitment to craft. His poems build and infold all at once, and opposing forces create incredible tension in them: the reader’s mouth, open in awe, next barks a disbelieving laugh. There’s more than a little of Buster Keaton here, threading his body through a window in a falling wall: simple marvels that stop you in your own tracks when you begin to think about how they were done. The author seems sui generis at first, but then you sense how lightly he’s stepped through the bramble of various inheritances to find his own voice, and on the first try. In ‘Making Sure’, for instance, Dodds harnesses both Tim Lilburn and William Stafford at the same moment as he’s claiming a certain territory for his own now: the natural world occupied by an ineluctable machinery. He builds against it this machine of language in which Glenn Gould negotiates the Danube, Ho Chi Min has gone to ‘repair/the night through a colander of stars’, the aviary has a recovery wing, and even the act of sipping water is reinvented: ‘In stride with the clock’s/ hypnotics, his throat chops a glass of water/down’. A research archaeologist by training, Dodds is sounding the deeps here. A marvellous debut.