Listening in Many Publics is motivated by the possibility of a future that is fulfilling, luminous, and held in common. The book expresses this vision in three long poems which are themselves composed of individual, interlinked poems. Using a circular structure that resists linear capitalist logics, fragmentation that attunes us to sound over sense, and a hybrid form that traverses both poetics and narrative, the poems speak to the necessity of articulating possible futures, of rehearsing different ways of being, and of returning to material truths, together. Plural, civic, and political, the poems locate themselves in the many publics that constitute our individual and social being, interrogate that which brings the subject into existence, and ultimately convey an open, hopeful sensibility in the face of the structures and systems they critique.
Jay Ritchie is a writer, editor, teacher, and McGill English PhD student. Author of the poetry collection Cheer Up, Jay Ritchie (Coach House Books), a collection of short stories, and a poetry chapbook, he has an MFA in Poetry from UMass Amherst and was the Assistant Editor for Metatron Press and Managing Editor of Vallum Magazine. Listening in Many Publics (Invisible Publishing) is his latest book. Jay lives in Tio’tia:ke / Montreal.
“Jay Ritchie’s poems veer and dare new forms to think and feel in. From sonnets to open, more diaristic armatures, Ritchie’s vexed interiority scans an ever rich and deeply felt ontology that emerges from a backdrop of wit, wonder, and hopeful bewilderment before the social world and its disarmingly absurd repercussions on language. A sure-footed, mighty feat.”—Ocean Vuong, author ofTime is a Mother and On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous
Praise for Jay Ritchie:
“With their clever—but never glib—concision of image, and emotional directedness, these poems actually make me feel something, and that is something I really enjoy.”—Rebecca Wolff, author of One Morning
“Charming, funny, and often elegant. This is a formidable collection.”—Ben Fama, author of Fantasy
“Ritchie throws black holes on the wall, disappears through them. His poems are like dreams dreamed mid-movement, just before something happens, as if light, buildings, breath, parakeets, hope, haircuts, Montreal, and art-making are all fragments of the same epiphany.”—Sean Michaels, Giller Prize–winnning author of Us Conductors