SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

 

 

Poetry

Science LessonsScience Lessons.  Lantzville, B.C.: Oolichan, 1996.  A series of unrhymed ‘sonnets’ plays with formal variation to suggest both the attractions of order and a desire to resist it; the book uses scientific terms as rhetorical clues to behaviour and understanding.  Read in sequence, the poems also recount an implicit narrative of a boy’s growth and recuperation on a Kootenay farm.  The book received a starred review from Anne Szumigalski in Quill & Quire.  [For information on the publisher, see http://www.oolichan.com/]

 

 

 

 

RaucousRaucous.  Lantzville: Oolichan, 1999.  These poems of bush life: use geology and mineral exploration as an overall metaphor for the process (and consequences) of discovery.  Quill & Quire praised the “images and …brilliant language…: there is nothing sentimental …about New’s vision; he does not go gently into the realm of poetry.  The reader has to work hard, but at the end of the journey there is a dazzling array of colour and a sense of seeing nature…for the first time.”  See also: “On Writing Raucous.”  Journal of Indo-Canadian Studies.  1.2 (July 2001): 123-30.

 

 

 

 

Stone RainStone / RainLantzville: Oolichan, 2001.  The three sections of this book (the title asks how people see: do they desire fixityor do they engage with change?) take the reader into an art gallery, into Vancouver history and a Chinese garden, and onto the bicycle-busy streets of a modern Chinese city.  In the first section, “Storyboards,” the history of coastal British Columbia is retold through images from the Odyssey, while a converging account of the art of coastal masks tells a contrapuntal understory, one appealing to alternative notions of creation and belonging.

 

 

 

 

RiverbookRiverbook and Ocean.  Lantzville: Oolichan, 2002.  Linked poems in this collection tell variously of love that transcends the seasons, of witnessing a death, and of Old Testament prophets who in modern-day masks wander the contemporary beaches of Vancouver.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NightroomNight Room.  Lantzville: Oolichan, 2003.  These poems (which some have read as ‘short-short stories’) track the interrupted progress of a character called Snowman as he moves from depression and despair towards a kind of acceptance—and perhaps even celebration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Underwood LogUnderwood Log.  Lantzville: Oolichan, 2004.  Shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award in Poetry, 2005; the jury’s citation reads “Underwood Log is a far-reaching examination of borders, latitudes, limitations and possibilities. A book that gives weight to common questions and finds astonishing answers.”  From the book jacket: “Reminiscent of Oscar Peterson’s Canadiana Suite, Derek Walcott’s Omeros or William Carlos Williams’ Paterson, this book-length poem is sweeping in its grasp of human and natural geography…, crossing meridians with insight and understanding, recording discoveries with delight and wonder.”

 

 

 

“Glossing Footnotes” Companion Series 1.  Madeira Park: High Ground Press, 2004; limited edition broadsheet.  The Companion Series pairs a new poem with a poem written by another writer, in this instance John Clare’s “Emmonsail's Heath in Winter.”

 

Touching EcuadorTouching Ecuador.  Lantzville: Oolichan, 2006.  A long poem in four voices, this work follows a modern-day tourist, a struggling castaway, a disillusioned preacher, and an Everyman weaver as they each come to terms with their ‘ecuadors’—i.e., the ‘equators’ or lines in their lives.  As they navigate the stories they inherit and the stories they encounter in place, they slowly discover the blessing of contradiction.

 

 

 

 

 

Along a Snake Fence RidingAlong a Snake Fence Riding.  Lantzville: Oolichan, 2007.  A long poem about time and memory, this book was written for performance by several voices.  One of these voices is that of the Narrator, who tells the “riding poems” that structure the book; another speaker is the Clock, whose mechanical voice ticks its way through proverbs and familiar phrases about time; the remaining voices are those of different years in a life, evoking sudden recognitions and recordng in a random, non-sequential way, the images that constitute the fragments of memory.

 

 

 

 

Rope Maker's TaleThe Rope-maker's Tale.  Lantzville: Oolichan, 2009.  A book-length narrative, this poem tells an old rope-maker's story--about a group of travellers who embark on the ring road of life and the adventures that befall them.  "Braiding past and promise, the poem cautions against passivity, celebrates joy and generation, and affirms the power of story-telling itself to take us on a journey into ourselves" (from the back cover).

 

 

 

 

 

 

YVRYVR. Fernie: Oolichan Books, 2011.
Winner of the City of Vancouver Book Award (2012)

YVR weaves a suite of lyrics into a powerful long poem, a citywide Vancouversong. Combining memoir, civic history, love song, and social critique, it’s a highly personal poem, vividly rooted in Vancouver life, and at the same time a charged portrait of social change. In three parts, it begins in disaffection and disruption, tracks its way back into images of childhood (bush, beach, boys at war), and then moves forward again, celebrating ‘’the sawtooth Coast’ and the river, ‘the shingle house of interruption’ and the polyphonic voices of the city now. A poem about instability and edges--about seeing them, addressing them, embracing them--at its heart is a remarkable walk the length of Main Street.

 

 

New & Selected Poems. Fernie: Oolichan Books, 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Neighbours Neighbours, Fernie: Oolichan Books, 2017.

Neighbours is a book that affirms; we are all neighbours, wherever we live. Following YVR, with its exploration of Vancouver, W. H. New gives shape and sound to the neighbourhood in a voice that is gentle, witty, apprehensive, and tender. These are poems that dare to bridge the vast space between the familiar and the mysterious; the eloquent and the colloquial.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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