American Standard/Canada Dry

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Coach House Books, 2005 - Poetry - 117 pages
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With Canada / US relations in the proverbial toilet (American Standard, of course), Stephen Cain’s third book blenderizes ‘pop’ culture, politics and poetry to befuddle the border.

From the Howl-like opening rant about the militarism of the US to the satirical ‘History of Canada,’ this collection interrogates nationalism and cultural identity on both sides of the 49th parallel and attempts to show that Auden was wrong: poetry can make things happen.

American Standard/Canada Dry includes odes to video games, poems culled from Viagra junk mail and CNN reports on the war, ruminations on Canadian poets, travelogues, concrete poems, mistranslations of bird poems, and riffs on peculiar Canadianisms, including homophonic translations of Québécois lyrics.

Deftly oscillating between vitriolic verse and humour, the poems in American Standard/Canada Dry interrogate poetics, nationalism and Tim Hortons as thoroughly as a burly border avant-guard; they’re your passport to the land of a new political poetry.


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The Viagra Monologues
Stop Go To Slow
A Parliament of Foules
A History of Canada
Canada Dry

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About the author (2005)

Stephen Cain (b.1970) is the author of dyslexicon (Coach House, 1999) and Torontology (ECW, 2001). His sound poetry can be heard on Carnivocal (Red Deer, 1999) and his concrete poetry has appeared internationally. He lives in Toronto where he is a literary editor at the Queen Street Quarterly and a fiction editor at Insomniac Press.

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