Each One a Furnace: Poems (Paperback)

Each One a Furnace: Poems By Tolu Oloruntoba Cover Image

Each One a Furnace: Poems (Paperback)


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From the author of The Junta of Happenstance, here is a brilliant new collection of poems—a burning chronicle of passage and stillness and restlessness.


Each One a Furnace explores (im)migration, diasporas, transience, and instability by following the behaviour, and abundant variety, of finches. The often-migratory birds in these poems typify the unrest, and inability to rest, that animate the lives of billions in the modern world. Out of the register of ornithology, themes of difficulty, adversity, and migrancy, urban ennui, and the psychic struggles of diasporic peoples take shape as those unable to be at rest in the world take to improbable flight. 

Trailing the global mobility of birds, in urban and non-urban settings, in historical and contemporary contexts, and through the metaphysical and concrete, Each One a Furnace is a chronicle of struggle within, and between, cultures.
TOLU OLORUNTOBA lived in Nigeria and the United States before settling in the metro area of Coast Salish lands known as Vancouver with his family. He spent his early career as a primary care physician, and currently manages virtual health projects with organizations in British Columbia. His poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, while his debut chapbook, Manubrium, was a bpNichol Chapbook Award finalist. The Junta of Happenstance, his first full-length collection, was the winner of the 2021 Governor General’s Literary Award for English Language Poetry and the Canadian winner of the 2022 Griffin Poetry Prize.
Product Details ISBN: 9780771051586
ISBN-10: 0771051581
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Publication Date: March 22nd, 2022
Pages: 96
Language: English
Praise for Tolu Oloruntoba and Each One a Furnace

“The compendium of post-apocalyptic finches we meet in Tolu Oloruntoba’s Each One a Furnace seem to reach back to us from a not-so-distant future, to narrate the evolutionary burnout of most of the bird family Fringillidae. Imagine if a poem could be the collective knowledge of a species in the moment of its extinction, a translation of the painfully beautiful finale of all birdsong. ‘What lessons did you learn / about the transactional conviviality / of captive flocks?’ Oloruntoba’s finches, buntings, siskins, grosbeaks are all somewhere between mid-dying flight and already gone, singing like canaries in the coal mine of global capital, flaming out like comets of feather and consciousness and history.” –Sonnet L’Abbé, author of Sonnet’s Shakespeare

“Oloruntoba draws on a wide frame of references, from Norse mythology to modern gaming and the work of contemporary artist Wangechi Mutu, creating a thoroughly modern and unique ecopoetics.” —poetryfoundation.org

“These are poems of deep thought, passionate engagement and often searing images.” —Toronto Star

Each One a Furnace is an expansive, powerful collection, animated by a combination of analytical keenness, rage, and vulnerability.” —Winnipeg Free Press