George Elliott Clarke reviewed the collections of both Tim Bowling of Gaspereau Press and Ellen Jaffe in the latest issue of the Maple Tree Literary Supplement. He praises their work, Bowling for his sharp insight and Jaffe for her wry wit.
“she thinks about time past and its metaphysical import, and also about mortality.” He says, of Ellen Jaffe’s latest collection of poetry, Skinny-Dipping with the Muse.
In her collection, Jaffe explores darker themes when she juxtaposes the Holocaust with current domestic life, but her poems also explore lighter topics like Dorothy’s ruby slippers.
In her tougne-and-cheek poem “Fay Wray Writes to King Kong,” the now-aged actress writes to King Kong to say that: “Marriage wouldn’t have worked out— / you couldn’t be house-broken, / and, of course, we were an inter-racial couple….”
Grouped into four sections, the poems in this collection relate to the writer’s experience of diving “into the destructive element” (in Joseph Conrad’s words), naked, vulnerable, stripping off clothes, masks, and preconceptions in a process of connecting with the “creative spirit” in a way that is playful, loving, emotionally rich and wet, care-full, and spontaneous. These poems are conversations with the living, the dead, and the world itself.
Ellen Jaffe will also be making an appearane at the Guernica booth at INSPIRE, Toronto’s International Literary Festival. From 3:30-4pm Saturday, Nov. 14 Ellen Jaffe will be at the Guernica booth to sign copies of her book.
Ellen Jaffe will also be reading from her work at the Locke Street Library, Hamilton, on Jan. 15, 2015. The reading starts at 2:00 p.m. and all are welcome.
To read George Elliott Clarke’s full review of Skinny-Dipping With the Muse, you can visit the Maple Tree Literary Supplement website at: http://www.mtls.ca/issue18/writings/reviews/george-elliott-clarke/2/
Skinny-Dipping with the Muse is available on the Guernica website at: http://www.guernicaeditions.com/title/9781550718430