I became a better poet when I surrendered to beauty. - Bruce Rice
Descent Into Lima
Descent into Lima maps the landscape of the human heart and the natural world. Dense, dark, and full of musicality, these poems move easily through cultures, time and place to examine intensely personal as well as universal concerns. This is a search for self that takes the reader from Peru to the Canadian Prairies as the poems confront isolation, madness and conflict.
A recipient of the Canadian Authors Association Award for Poetry, Daniel is a first book of poems that is both emotionally satisfying and technically innovative. It is a long poem about continuity, about time itself, exploring the way in which the spiritual and creative struggles of one generation carry on into, and transform, the next. Bruce Rice imagines and recreates the lives of four generations of family, weaving a rich tapestry of character, image, and event. Much of the directness and animation of the long poem derives from his handling of multiple points of view, frequent shifts in place from Ireland and Scotland to South Africa and Saskatchewan, and his decision to use the present tense as a means of heightening the impact of the imagined past.
Available from the Author
The Illustrated Statue of Liberty
This collection draws from photography and art movements of the early 20th century in an exploration of America as the “imagined destination” and the lives that are excluded from that narrative. In the first section, "The Madmen I Have Known", Bruce Rice returns to themes of the history of mental health and psychiatric hospitals, as he documents and validates the inmates’ hidden lives. From there it moves to the immigration barns and Ellis Island. The story is often told by Faith, an artist obsessed with painting images of the Liberty, who is herself, a character in the book. Faith tells us "How to Paint". The book concludes with the redemptive longpoem, “The Seven Acts of Mercy”, that returns to the lives of those in mental institutions, and received the Anne Szumigalski Prize for the Grain Magazine’s poem of the year.