A rock-littered backyard in east-end Ottawa slowly becomes a garden in Monty Reid’s looping cycle and re-cycle of anti-paradisial poems. With his companion species, the shovel, Reid digs and un-digs, turning up the playful, the prickly, and the dangerous. Garden is yet another example of Reid’s original vision and restlessly independent voice.
Monty Reid is a Canadian poet living in Ottawa. His most recent collection is The Luskville Reductions (Brick, 2008). Recent chapbooks include Site Conditions (Apt 9), Contributors’ Notes (Gaspereau) and Moan Coach (above/ground) along with Garden units from a variety of small presses. Much of Garden appeared as Facebook posts in 2012 and his current long work, Intelligence, appeared on Twitter throughout 2013. Other online work can be found at Dusie, elimae, Drain, ottawater, Truck, experiment-o and elsewhere. Recent print work can be seen in the Peter F Yacht Club, the Malahat Review, Grain, Prairie Fire and other magazines. He plays guitar and mandolin with the band Call Me Katie.
“As every gardener knows, the garden has a mind of its own. And when the gardener is a poet with a mind as signature as that of Monty Reid, vegetables, ideas, weeds, poems and jack-o-lanterns come together in a profusion of encounters that, far from paradisical, are as complicated, unruly and irreplaceable as life itself. Life is this inconceivable cabbage patch, says Reid, and no reader of this book will wish it otherwise; ostensibly about a garden, these poems are about what it means to be human.”—Mary Ruefle