The two suites of casemate poems were written during two one-week artist-in-residence stints in 2003 in Fredericton, New Brunswick. These were public, interactive, residencies with visitors passing though the casemate workspace with two concurrent artists-in-residence scheduled for any given week.
During his residency, Blades had a typewriter set up on a table facing the open doorway of the casemate. It was always primed with a sheet of paper. In the tradition of writers in storefronts, as Blades finished composing each poem, it was attached to the casemate wall. Blades also took photographs inside and from within the casemate looking outward: images of the casemate itself, of his art in progress, photographs of the weaving looms, of the potter and pottery turned.
In this volume, Blades poems and photographs are combined to produce a work that reflects the immediacy of their composition while enabling the reader to experience Blades’ writing at their own pace.
Poet and visual artist Joe Blades from Fredericton, New Brunswick, is the publisher of Broken Jaw Press / Maritimes Arts Projects. One other book, Cover Makes A Set, and numerous chapbooks of his work have been published, and his poetry appears in many anthologies. His visual art has been widely exhibited throughout North America.
“To read Canadian poet and artist Joe Blades’ book of poetry casemate poems means to get knowledge about one very specific way of understanding poetry today. […] Blades’ poetry is written by activating different layers of human knowledge and by articulation of this knowledge, for example, in narrations of history and geography. He moves in time (historical perspective) and in space (for example, actual events in the world at the time, such as the attack on the World Trade Center, or pointing to the contemporary racist attitudes of specific countercultures.”—Dubravka Đurić (translated from the Serbian by Dubravka Đurić)