co-edited by derek beaulieu, Jason Christie, and a rawlings
The Mercury Press

Avant-garde poets challenge the reading and writing status quo, and question what a poem may be. Canada’s cutting-edge authors have been widely acclaimed internationally as some of the most important innovators of the 20th and 21st centuries. Conventional poetry anthologies may emphasize traditional lyric poetry; Shift & Switch offers a unique alternative: radicality, innovation, and experimentation with sound, visual elements, mathematics, surrealism, and ’pataphysics. Crack the spine of this highly anticipated collection to discover Canada’s next generation of experimental poets and their electrifying poetry.

CONTRIBUTORS: derek beaulieu. Gregory Betts. Michael deBeyer. Alice Burdick. Jason Christie. Chris Fickling. Jon Paul Fiorentino. Ryan Fitzpatrick. Jay Gamble. Sharon Harris. Jill Hartman. Jamie Hilder. Geoffrey Hlibchuk. Matthew Hollett. Jesse Huisken. Kedrick James. Reg Johanson. Frances Kruk. Larissa Lai. Jason Le Heup. Glen Lowry. Danielle Maveal. Jeremy McLeod. Max Middle. Gustave Morin. Janet Neigh. a.rawlings. Rob Read. Jordan Scott. Natalie Simpson. Trevor Speller. Nathalie Stephens. Andrea Strudensky. Hugh Thomas. Mark Truscott. Douglas Webster. Jonathon Wilcke. Julia Williams. Rita Wong. Suzanne Zelazo. Rachel Zolf.

“[Shift & Switch: New Canadian Poetry] sets… exemplary standards of excellence for its selections, and such work certainly provides a “core sample” of innovation in our literature. You may not yet recognize many of the poets in this provocative compilation. Chances are you soon will.” — Christian Bök, The Globe and Mail

“[T]hese poets strip away at previously known, comfortable structures to engage the poem, and challenge form, content, reason, and the still and active space of the page. The verse in Shift & Switch displays a poem’s open energy….” — Wanda O’Connor, Ottawa Xpress

“Poetry is the new non-fiction. The best book in 2005 was the recently released Shift & Switch: New Canadian Poetry, a brilliant anthology of young poets from across the country working in various avant-garde traditions.” — Natalee Caple, The Calgary Herald

“Are you a dynamic, liberal reader? Shift & Switch may be for you.” — John W. MacDonald, Ottawa Citizen

“Shift & Switch is a snapshot of the current generation of the avant-garde poets in Canada.” — Lee Shedden, The Calgary Herald

“… an important contribution to Canadian literature. [Shift & Switch: New Canadian Poetry] does the job an anthology should do: it culls a large body of work to make a case for the importance of a selected few— and for its own importance in the culture.” — Moberley Luger, Canadian Literature