Flourish by Jacqueline TurnerFlourish by Jacqueline Turner


byJacqueline Turner

Paperback | September 17, 2019

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"Smart, clear-eyed. Turner's gift is for beautiful concision." - Georgia Straight on The Ends of the Earth

Jacqueline Turner's Flourish moves between philosophy, literary criticism, biography, and poetry. Both personal and experimental, her writing becomes transformative as it explores memories of growing up in a small town, parenting a set of adventurous sons, traveling, and reading. At times her poems act like micro essays, at other times they are miniature memoirs or precise manifestos, and throughout the collection's exploration of contemporary cities and culture, a tense beauty emerges.

Turner takes readers to a park in Berlin set up like a messy living room, to a gallery in Granada where the view from a window beside a famous painting more perfectly frames an ancient stone wall, and to a karaoke room in Tokyo where comedic possibilities merge with spilled drinks. In the end, Flourish celebrates the abundance of words already read, while conveying gratitude for the ones still about to be read. A bold gesture, a green light, a way forward in challenging times.

Jacqueline Turner is the author of The Ends of the Earth (ECW Press 2013). She is a Lecturer at Emily Carr University of Art + Design and has held writing residencies in Brisbane, Tasmania, Granada, and Berlin. Her work is published widely in Canada and internationally. She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Title:FlourishFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:128 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.42 inShipping dimensions:8.5 × 5.5 × 0.42 inPublished:September 17, 2019Publisher:ECW PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1770415068

ISBN - 13:9781770415065


Rated 5 out of 5 by from What a treasure! "We like reading more than writing. Would spend our days on divan or chaise lounge surrounded by books and velvet curtains, propped on stacks of pillows. Reading is a space that makes multiple lines of thought emerge or reading is a space to follow someone else's thought so thoroughly we can't quiet our own." • This was such an interesting and beautiful collection! From the very first piece she had my attention. Turner's writing is smart and purposeful. This collection is hard to define. Some pieces read like literary criticism others were beautiful fragments full of wisdom just waiting to be pondered and yet some parts felt very much like a story from a memoir, and almost an intimate look at a writers diary. So thoughtful and sentimental. She has such a way with words! She speaks of books and reading, motherhood, love and more. • As you can probably tell I really really enjoyed this one! It really was so intelligent, poetic and ornameltal. It was unlike any poetry I have read before. So many pieces made me stop and reread what I had just read and savor the wisdom of her words. I hadn't read any of Turner's work prior to this but can't wait to check out more!
Date published: 2019-09-15

Read from the Book

"Avoid the Flourish" - Leonard Cohen, "How to Speak Poetry"   it was meant to be simple we loved it and it was simple a plain pine box as hearts broke to cries of hallelujah   it was meant to be simple it was meant to be it was meant   it had meaning the people agree as they post versions of Hallelujahs as others post telling them they are posting the wrong Hallelujahs   a fight broke out about who Famous Blue Raincoat meant more to nostalgia for a lost love or whisper singing in bed as a sign of contemporary intimacy who soothes your insomnia at '4 in the morning/end of December'?   it was a gravel voice, a gravelly voice it was profound and it sang out to the hills it was always a hymn, it was always an anthem it went 'a thousand kisses deep' or it broke open 'the crack to let the light in'   it was many things to many people it was always a dance, always a poem always thinly veiled fiction it was beautiful and it was loser-ish it was mine more than yours yours more than mine   it was trouble for a troubled time it was humility in the crease of greatness it was always an epic, an ode it made you cry every time it unleashed you, untethered it made you freer, it let you off your flight, light, bright it was always surrender it was always trying to figure you out it was always helping you, giving you courage it was fragments and pieces, it was notions it was always deep understanding it was eventually   it was soft and you loved it it was always from a distance it was always 'you look good when you're tired' always 'you look like you could go on forever.'

Editorial Reviews

"Written from the vantage of a writer in the middle of her life and career, Jacqueline Turner's Flourish looks back - longingly yet complexly - on autobiographical events and instrumental texts that have shaped the politics and poetics of her current self. The brief episodes recounted in this body of work slowly accumulate and resonate, perhaps especially for women who grew up in Canada in the 1980s and '90s. Flourish is a quiet tornado: riveting, expansive, and profoundly moving on multiple levels. Time buckles and reverses as Turner contemplates her father's death, her children's entries into adulthood, and her own emergence as an established writer. As a fellow girl who was not expected to become important, I shiver with recognition at Turner's various 'returns to the beginning at the end.' Yet Flourish is not Turner's end - not by far!" - Theresa Smalec, Associate Professor, Bronx Community College/City University of New York"Jacqueline Turner's Flourish is 'meant to be simple.' Isn't it? It reads nostalgia. Here, a state of being, yearning for a time that might not have been particularly all that grand. What it wants back is not what it was. What was simple reflects without force. Such simplicity was all here too: the past and its residue, hesitant speech parts and its counterparts, trips and its trip-ups. A blueprint for what it looks like to think and feel everything at once: I'm dazzled by it." - Danielle LaFrance, author of Friendly + Fire and Just Like I Like It"Reading Jacqueline Turner's Flourish makes us want to write, to remember; also to sing, then read, then cry, and re-read. We're reading it while thinking about reading, and remembering. What the book makes us want to do is re-think it all, and re-think remembering it all, and remember re-thinking it - and most of all - to keep reading this, to keep this reading. We know we'll return to it again." - Wayde Compton, author of The Outer Harbour, Performance Bond, 49th Parallel Psalm, and After Canaan: Essays on Race, Writing, and Region"[Turner's] prose poems do come through in a rush; one that appears highly considered, each word and phrase weighed before set on the page, but with such an ease of flow akin to a sudden release of water." - rob mclennan's blog