Opening the Island
Poems by Anne ComptonAuthor Anne Compton ISBN 9781550416381 Binding Trade Paper Publisher Fitzhenry & Whiteside Publication Date March 21, 2002 Size 152 x 229 mm
The result is a rhythm of expression, a texture and critique that weave through the day-to-day, yet strike toward the transcendental.
Another fine poet who defies editorial strictures is Anne Compton of Fredricton, whose poems are learned, lyrical, luminous. She employs concrete details - a la Atwood - that captivate.
- George Elliot Clarke, The Sunday Herald
Anne Compton is a rare thing: both poet and critic.
- Shane Neilson, New Brunswick Reader
"Anne Compton's highly anticipated first book of poetry, Opening the Island, adeptly reshapes the classic themes of life, art, love and home into a rich landscape sensitively laced with layers of metaphors....This collection of poetry establishes Compton not only as an important Maritime writer but as a vital voice in Canadian literature."
- Daily Gleaner, Fredericton
"...an assured, fearless collection: the result of much mature cogitation on life, love and literature...A poet of sumptuous imagination and scientific wisdom, Compton is also fun."
- The Chronicle-Herald, Halifax
"...one of the finest poetry collections I've seen in a long time. It's got a nameless quality which is evident no matter which poem you look at first, and which, to my mind, belongs to all true poetry."
- The Guardian, Charlottetown
[Anne Compton] has the nerve to say what most of us secretly believe about our own pasts she surprises us by being playful and sexy underneath it all and by having a truly wild mind.
- Atlantic Books Today
Remarkable not only for its intelligence but for its craft, this is one of the most impressive debut collections by a Canadian poet in this or any year of recent memory. The literal island alluded to in the title is Prince Edward Island. The figurative island Compton limns throughout, however, is the island of the self we've inhabited at least since John Donne. In ways reminiscent of metaphysical poetry's curious combination of passion and intelligence no received sentiment on offer, ideation consistently manifested in small marvels of compression these poems seem to have been not so much written as engraved Compton casts spells in Opening the Island that consistently transfigure the commonplace into something quite marvelous and strange.
- Winnipeg Free Press
"Compton is obviously an accomplished poet. The language is on a high level"
- Potterfield Portfolio
"the highly anticipated first book of poetry by one of Canada's most lyrical voices. Always critical, often iconographic, Anne Compton plumbs the classic themes of life, art, love, and home which are masterfully reshaped into a contemporary landscape rich in colour and folds of metaphor. The result is a rhythm of expression, a texture and critique that weave through the day to day, yet strike toward the transcendental."
- Atlantic Writing Awards
"this debut collection is long overdue and much anticipated. Opening the Island proves well worth the wait."
- The Malahat Review
"...a poet of careful, controlled aesthetics...There's an organic wisdom and learning in her pastoral poems that lurks in the language, and this intelligence is even more crystallized in the bracing historical poems...This debut exhibits well the trappings of language - what's left for Compton is the headlong plunge from intellectualization into more visceral ecstasies, the base material of which is much in evidence in Opening the Island."
- Books in Canada
Winner of the 2003 Atlantic Poetry Prize