by Lisa Robertson

Boat
Lisa Robertson
Coach House Books - 18.00€ -

In 2004, boldly original poet Lisa Robertson published a chapbook, Rousseau's Boat, poems culled from years of notebooks that are, nevertheless, by no means autobiographical. In 2010, she expanded the work into a full-length book, R's Boat. During the pandemic, she was drawn back into decades of journals to shape Boat. These poems bring fresh vehemence to Robertson's ongoing examination of the changing shape of feminism, the male-dominated philosophical tradition, the daily forms of discourse, and the possibilities of language itself.

Poet and essayist Lisa Robertson has held residencies at the California College of the Arts, Cambridge University; University of California, Berkeley; UC San Diego; and American University of Paris. Her books include Cinema of the Present, Debbie: An Epic (nominated for the Governor General's Award in Canada), The Men, The Weather, R's Boat (poetry) and Occasional Works and Seven Walks from the Office for Soft Architecture (essays). Lisa Robertson's Magenta Soul Whip (Coach House) was named one of The New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2010, and was longlisted for the 2011 Warwick Prize for Writing. She won the inaugural C. D. Wright Award. She currently lives in France.

Anemones: A Simone Weil Project
Lisa Robertson
If I Can't Dance - 22.00€ -

The author’s research on troubadour poetry yields this experiment in thinking ‘near and with’ philosopher and political activist Simone Weil. Moving between the epistolary, poetry, performance and scholarly research, it centres on a new translation of Weil’s 1942 essay ‘What the Occitan Inspiration Consists Of’ that elevates the troubadour concept of love to a practice of political resistance rejecting force in all its forms. Robertson dwells on the transhistorical potential of this concept from the violent context in which it emerged to the troubling conditions of the present. Embracing actualised and suppressed histories, the work testifies to words, friendship and readership as resistance across distances.

With a contribution by Benny Nemer

Design: Rietlanden Women’s Office
120pp, ills bw, 23–14 cm, pb, English, 2021

The Baudelaire Fractal
Lisa Robertson
Coach House Books - 18.00€ -

One morning, Hazel Brown awakes in a badly decorated hotel room to find that she's written the complete works of Charles Baudelaire. In her bemusement the hotel becomes every cheap room she ever stayed in during her youthful perambulations in 1980s Paris ... This is the legend of a she-dandy's life. Part magical realism, part feminist ars poetica, part history of tailoring, part bibliophilic anthem, part love affair with nineteenth-century painting, The Baudelaire Fractal is poet and art writer Lisa Robertson's first novel.

'As far as I'm concerned, it's already a classic.' - Anne Boyer

Thresholds: A Prosody of Citizenship
Lisa Robertson
Book Works - 10.00€ -  out of stock

‘In De vulgare eloquentia, Dante developed a poetics of the vernacular – the collectively accessible speech of the household and the street, distributed unilaterally rather than intentionally acquired via a disciplined pedagogy of grammar, and transformed in open bodily exchange, irrespective of social position, gender or rank. “The vernacular,” Dante says, “[is] the language which children gather from those around them when they first begin to articulate words; or more briefly, that which we learn without any rules at all by imitating our nurses.” A vernacular is not structured according to a valuing hierarchy or an administration of history; it is improvised in tandem with the rhythmic needs and movements of a present-tense yet tradition-informed body among other bodies, each specific. There is no general vernacular; it is intrinsically grammarless. Vernacular speech can only ever begin and can never achieve closure. Refusing spatial propriety, it crisscrosses institutions. In Dante’s definition, it is what’s spoken by women and children, thus it is the first, and natural language: “The whole world uses it through its diverse pronunciations and forms”.’ – from Thresholds: A Prosody of Citizenship. 

Lisa Roberston’s reflection of political subject formation, through poetry and vernacular forms, acts as a critical anchor for the ideas and experiments published in this new series, Dialecty

Dialecty, conceived by Maria Fusco with The Common Guild, considers the uses of vernacular forms of speech and writing, exploring how dialect words, grammar and syntax challenge and improve traditional orthodoxies of critical writing.

Cinema of The Present
Lisa Robertson
Coach House Books - 18.00€ -  out of stock

What if the cinema of the present were a Möbius strip of language, a montage of statements and questions sutured together and gradually accumulating colour? Would the seams afford a new sensibility around the pronoun ‘you’? Would the precise words of philosophy, fashion, books, architecture and history animate a new vision, gestural and oblique? Is the kinetic pronoun cinema?

These and other questions are answered in the new long poem from acclaimed poet and essayist Lisa Robertson. The book is available with four different back covers, designed by artists Hadley + Maxwell.

Revolution: A Reader
Lisa Robertson, Matthew Stadler
Paraguay Press - 28.00€ -  out of stock

Revolution: A Reader collects texts from across many cultures and times and organises them roughly along a chronology of living, from 'beginning' to 'childhood', 'education', 'adulthood' and 'death'. The book brings the embodied fact of revolution into the lived present by engaging readers with language that takes us there, no matter where we are to begin with. We are all in revolution, now. Reading can make this fact primary and conscious and shared.

Heavily annotated throughout, the book is, quite literally, a conversation. The annotations, by Lisa Robertson and Matthew Stadler "composed simultaneously and in response to one another“ stitch a web of arguments that link the book into a single thing, a reader. The book also features a narrative bibliography of revolution by David Brazil.

Occasional Work and Seven Walks from the Office for Soft Architecture
Lisa Robertson
Coach House Books - 20.00€ -  out of stock

This delectable book collects the rococo prose of Lisa Robertson. There are essays - many originally published as catalogue texts by art galleries - on the syntax of the suburban home, Vancouver fountains, Value Village, the joy of synthetics, scaffolding and the persistence of the Himalayan blackberry. It makes for one of the most intriguing books you'll ever read.

Magenta Soul Whip
Lisa Robertson
Coach House Books - 15.00€ -

Lisa Robertson writes poems that mine the past, its ideas, its personages, its syntax, to construct a lexicon of the future. Her poems both court and cuckold subjectivity by unmasking its fundament of sex and hesitancy, the coil of doubt in its certitude. Reading her laments and utopias, we realize that language, whiplike, casts ahead of itself a fortuitous form. The form brims here pleasurably with dogs, movie stars, broths, painting's detritus, Latin and pillage.

Erudite and startling, the poems in Lisa Robertson's Magenta Soul Whip, occasional works written over the past fifteen years, turn vestige into architecture, chagrin into resplendence. In them, we recognize our grand, saddened century.

The Men
Lisa Robertson
Book*hug Press - 16.00€ -  out of stock

The Men explores a territory between the poet and a lyric lineage among men. Following a tradition that includes Petrarch's Sonnets, Dante's work on the vernacular, Montaigne, and even Kant, Robertson is compelled towards the construction of the textual subjectivity these authors convey-a subjectivity that honors all the ambivalence, doubt and tenderness of the human. Yet she remains angered by the structure of gender these works advance, and it is this troubled texture of identity that she examines in The Men.

Nilling
Lisa Robertson
Book*hug Press - 18.00€ -

NILLING: PROSE is a sequence of five loosely linked prose essays about noise, pornography, the codex, melancholy, Lucretius, folds, cities and related aporias: in short, these are essays on reading.

"I have tried to make a sketch or a model in several dimensions of the potency of Arendt's idea of invisibility, the necessary inconspicuousness of thinking and reading, and the ambivalently joyous and knotted agency to be found there. Just beneath the surface of the phonemes, a gendered name rhythmically explodes into a founding variousness. And then the strictures of the text assert again themselves. I want to claim for this inconspicuousness a transformational agency that runs counter to the teleology of readerly intention. Syllables might call to gods who do and don't exist. That is, they appear in the text's absences and densities as a motile graphic and phonemic force that abnegates its own necessity. Overwhelmingly in my submission to reading's supple snare, I feel love."

The Apothecary
Lisa Robertson
Book*hug Press - 13.00€ -  out of stock

THE APOTHECARY stems from the author's desire to remake the sentence--to let it be capacious, preposterous, convivial, and hang it from a pronoun worn like a phantom limb. Robertson wants that ghostly pronoun to reinvent itself afresh in each sentence. Looking towards the eighteenth century, sometimes through a lens occasionally borrowed from contemporary sources, the text of THE APOTHECARY is precise, intoxicating materia medica dispensed by one of Canada's most important contemporary posts at the beginning of her career with the use of florid instruments.

Xeclogue
Lisa Robertson
New Star Books - 17.00€ -  out of stock

First issued by Tsunami Editions in 1993, XECLOGUE is an exploration of the pleasures of the pastoral poetry from a late-twentieth-century feminist perspective. Robertson, the Governor General's Award finalist, plays in a neo-classical landscape with equal doses of iconoclasm and erudition. This new and revised edition is sure to win new devotees for her rich and exuberant work.

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