Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Geology, Thinking, and a Tent

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As Jan Zwicky’s Wittgensteinian “The Geology of Norway” kept and keeps circling through my mind and body, I remembered Liz Howard’s gorgeous poem, “Thinktent,” which also works with, among other things, thinking from/about/with Wittgenstein. “Thinktent” is from Howard’s debut book Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent (McClelland and Stewart, 2015).

So today, more admiration and gratitude for writing with and of bodies, Wittgenstein, ferality, beauty, outrage, and focus, and all with a startlingly wild exactitude.

Here is the first section of “Thinktent” (it will make you want to read more and more, again and again—)


I am my world. (The microcosm).
-- Ludwig Wittgenstein

Hospitality: the first demand
what is your name?
the city bound me so I entered

to dream a science that would name me
daughter and launch beyond
grief, the old thoracic cause

myocardium: a blood-orange foundry
handed down by the humoral
anatomists and to not be

inside my own head perpetually
not simply Wittgenstein’s girl
but an infinite citizen in a shaking tent

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

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Julie Joosten

Julie Joosten is originally from Georgia but now lives in Toronto. She holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers Program and a PhD from Cornell University. Her poems and reviews can be read in like starlings, Lemon Hound, Lit, Jacket 2, Tarpaulin Sky, the Malahat Review and The Fiddlehead. She recently guest edited an issue of BafterC, a journal of contemporary poetry. Her first book, Light Light, was shortlisted for the 2014 Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, the 2014 Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry, and the 2014 Goldie Award.

You can reach Julie throughout the month of April at

Go to Julie Joosten’s Author Page