tour de force, a book-length poem, embracing a wide variety of poetic
and prose forms, to tell the story of Harry Houdini.
Price's Houdini knows better than most the limitations of life,
having bent the efforts of a lifetime to transcending them, and
having failed. Ah, but his thinking! Or rather Steven Price's thinking
with and through him. "Make it muscular and be apparent in
it," says Houdini's archivist/advisor, "words are also
escapes." So they are in a book with the sinew of Anatomy of
Keys. The facts of Houdini's life are here - immigration to America,
youth, circus stint, fame, that notorious life-ending punch - but
the facts are the spine of a deep and ardent meditation on what
is. In poems of astonishing technical virtuosity, Steven Price reads
Houdini's world and our own in compellingly original ways.
sputter of a turned handle.
Bald knob bare in the palm. The torpid click
And calm take of springs triggered far within.
set myself to hear it clear again,
That ordinary hinge and creak and drag
Of doors we live with all our days and lose
The wonder of.
Price, in his Anatomy of Keys, draws us into the intricacy of Harry
Houdini's character, as the Master himself entered trunks, chains,
a web of knots. In poem after poem, there is the miraculous surprise
of release. These are moving, brilliant poems, a remarkable debut."
- Tim Lilburn
Price was born and raised in Colwood, BC. His work has appeared
in Canadian and American literary journals. He is one of the poets
in Breathing Fire 2: Canada's New Poets, edited by Lorna Crozier
and Patrick Lane. Price graduated from the University of Virginia
Writing Program, and currently teaches poetry and writing at the
University of Victoria.
Dimensions Approximately 5 1/2" x 8 3/4" (14cm x 22cm)