ClockWork: Poems & Essays
Calgary: Frontenac House, 2015.
Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)
ClockWork is a sustained argument with the role of the poet/critic, and the search for an alternative narrative. It has been situated with the eye of an exile; that is, Zaid Shlah perceives his native country (Canada) at a distance, and that distance provides an oblique and nuanced view of its poetic/political and public discourse. As an Iraqi-Canadian living in the U.S. (bringing with it all of the conflicted feelings of a protracted and senseless war), the manuscript’s primary exploration is concerned with the effects of that compounded discourse on language and poetry, and what the author or the individual might do to get back to seeing himself and the world anew.