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This visual poetry collection is a full colour extravaganza!

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“Gary Barwin’s visual poetry is full of startling revelations and playful mischief. He puts letters behind bars, he splashes them out on curved surfaces, he makes them vibrate with semi-transparent colours and he does things to them that seem to answer the question “what if?” in an infinite multitude of ways. This is experimental literature at its funniest and most exciting and I’m pleased it gets such full exposure in Portal.”

 --Joakim Norling, publisher, Timglaset Editions



“Gary Barwin’s PORTAL is a gateway to carnival grief. Cast in eye-popping colours, these poems suggest the stained glass of synagogues professing the sorrow of lost languages and lost stories. Each delicate jewel winks back to tales – both ancient and contemporary – which gather and greet the smallest particles of language. Letters and sigils stand sentinel over the echoes, cries, and celebrations of languages on the tip of our tongues. PORTAL opens a door on a melancholy feast where languages gather, and break bread together.”

--Derek Beaulieu, Banff Poet Laureate, author of Surface Tension.

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Gary Barwin is a writer, composer, and multidisciplinary artist and the author of 29 books including Nothing the Same, Everything Haunted: The Ballad of Motl the Cowboy which won the Canadian Jewish Literary Award and was chosen for Hamilton Reads 2023. His national bestselling novel Yiddish for Pirates won the Leacock Medal for Humour and the Canadian Jewish Literary Award, was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction and the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and was longlisted for Canada Reads. In addition to Portal, his latest book is a collaborative long poem (written with Lillian Neéakov) entitled Duck Eats Yeast, Quacks, Explodes; Man Loses Eye.Be:longings, a series of bronze sculptures commissioned by the City of Hamilton

and created with Simon Frank and Tor Lukasik-Foss was installed in 2023. Born

in Northern Ireland to South African parents of Lithuanian Ashkenazi descent, he

lives in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

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