Isadora Blue

Fred Wah’s words flow like a storm blows: rhythmically, sometimes even playfully, but abrupt when they hit on something. And they often do. Appropriately, his collection of poems and short prose is named after hurricane Isadora that swept through Merida on the Yucatan Penninsula in Mexico in 2002. Wah wrote most of these poems while participating in the Canada-Mexico Photography/Writing Exchange centered in Merida and Banff in 2002-2003. Connected through the themes of “in between-ness” and uncertainty, his work touches on issues of immigration and race, life and death, geography and language. Spanish words and the names of Mexican places twist tongues that are unfamiliar with their sounds, making a reader like me hesitate an extra moment with pleasure. Wah emphasizes linguistic functions by mixing up colloquial syntax so the words never flow the way you expect them to, forcing you to pay attention. His emerging rhythms, alliteration, and repetitions zero in on sounds overflowing into one another. His words come alive, like this: “when a thought became a ‘thunk’ and you can feel it sink”. Wah’s work is definitely worth checking out. (Nancy Duncan)

Litzine, Fred Wah, La Mano Izquierda Impresora, 733 Connaught, Victoria, BC, V9A 2Z1, [email protected]

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