The Animal Library marks the debut of a remarkable poet — a poet of the flesh, his own and that of the animals he has lived with all his life, whether real or imaginary. Jason Camlot's fathe
The Animal Library marks the debut of a remarkable poet — a poet of the flesh, his own and that of the animals he has lived with all his life, whether real or imaginary. Jason Camlot's father was a furrier and he grew up in a world where, inevitably, "baby fur gets in your eyes" or in "your mouth." In dreams, the poet becomes a whale corpse "washed up/ on a very pale beach/ and hundreds of flies came,/ and people,/ to see the tusk,/ spun like coral glass." And as the boy grows up, images, at once curiously literal and yet surreal — images of being devoured or skinned alive — stay with him. The beauty of this collection is one of the mot juste, a concreteness and precision, coupled with a superb sense of rhythm.
— Marjorie Perloff
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Jason Camlot is a Montreal-born poet and scholar. His first collection of poems, The Animal Library (DC Books, 2000) was nominated for the Quebec Writer's Federation A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry. He has published a chapbook with illustrations by Canadian artist Betty Goodwin entitled, Lines Crossed Out (Delirium Press, 2005). Attention All Typewriters (DC Books, 2005) is his second collection of poems. He is a Professor of English at Concordia University in Montreal.
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"...Camlot's graphic exactness adds to the power of his vivid, animated images."
— Betty Goodwin
"...Camlot's style is rich and telling, taking us from smutty Chicago to ancient Greece, from the 19th century Decadents to modern biological polemics."
— Hour, 2001
"These poems are satisfyingly grisly and ornate, and funny in the sinister way that dreams are sometimes funny… Toe-curlingly delightful."
— Broken Pencil
"This work has Kafkaesque reverberations and a rich awareness of the evocative power of sight, sound and smell… and moves from the prehistoric to the present while displaying a strong sense of European myth and history intermingled with a heady eroticism."
— Rampike Magazine
"Rich in ideas and wit…unique and prodigious in its imagery."
—Books in Canada