N.W. Lea’s second collection of poetry Understander finds the author tempering his trademark associative style with a more focused lyricism. Here, the themes of alienation and the fragility of mental life become central. Still, hope and self-compassion can be found in the absurd—the place where pure and earnest tender-heartedness meets the crazed catharsis of dark humour; where one feels at once regal and ashamed, where, “what we need/is an exorcism, or at least/an enema.” Part Baudelaire, part Basho, Lea’s darkly compact poems will put the reader in touch with her shadow-side, so be sure to read under the sun.
N.W. Lea was born in Whitehorse, Yukon and grew up in and around Ottawa and Montreal. He is the author of the poetry collection Everything is Movies and the chapbooks light years, Actual Girl, and Present! He lives with his partner and cat in Ottawa.
“Understander is a book of standout lines amongst fragments and the employment of listing as technique.”—The Rumpus
“Everything is Movies is a rollicking and elastic first collection and it announces Lea as a voice to listen for.”—Matrix
“Lea is playful rather than didactic, and he loads his work with gorgeously consonant lines … and surprising humour.”—The Globe and Mail