Branches over Ripples


“Eleonore has gone back out onto the lake, this time in her kayak. Truly no other friend of mine has canoeing more in her blood. She’s practised it since her childhood in Northern Ontario, and isn’t just a fair-weather paddler; she also likes the challenge and exhilaration of being on lakes during rains, mists and surging waves. No wonder images of water run through so much of her new poetry collection, which is also filled with music and musicians, so the title Wavelengths of Your Song fits perfectly. I’ve read some of the poems two or three times, but it just dawned on me, after canoeing with its author, that you could re-experience the book with the act of canoeing constantly in mind, and wonder how rhythms and lines might’ve been influenced by the dips, strokes, manouverings and driftings, all the movements of both energy and relaxation, in canoeing around a lake again and again.”

 From Brian Bartlett’s newly released Branches over Ripples (Gaspereau Press)

Branches over Ripples.jpg

“Over two years, author and amateur naturalist Brian Bartlett sat down beside various bodies of water (bays, rivers, streams, lakes, waterfalls) to record his impressions, capturing both sensuous details of natural phenomena and reflections on his life and reading. Making a virtue of leisurely digression, Bartlett’s experiment in plein-air writing wanders beyond everyday personal journal-keeping into a meditation on the rich connections between the seemingly disparate experiences of our days, and on the enduring value of indulging our curiosity.”

“Brian Bartlett has published seven collections of poetry (including The Watchmakers Table and Wanting the Day: Selected Poems) and two books of prose (Ringing Here & There: A Nature Calendar and All Manner of Tackle: Living with Poetry). His writing has won numerous prizes, including the Atlantic Poetry Prize, The Malahat Reviews Long Poem Prize and the Acorn-Plantos Award for Peoples Poetry. Bartlett lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he teaches at Saint Marys University.”


“wonder and…wisdom”


Today’s Book of Poetry has reviewed Dust Blown Side of the Journey:   “Schönmaier is a perfect mix of Nelson Ball’s wonder and brevity along with the breadth and wisdom, experience and vision of a Lorna Crozier or a Sharon Olds.  That is some fine company and Schönmaier is right at home…monstrously good…Reading Dust Blown Side of the Journey is like that first long cool and quenching gulp of fresh spring water after a long hike.”

Magic Circle of Infinity

Yesterday evening by total chance Bobby Mitchell and I, each of us in different countries, were at the same time working on the New European Ensemble program for Dust Blown Side of the Journey.  The planned Den Haag and Amsterdam evenings will include the  “Magic Circle of Infinity” by George Crumb and the poem When the crumbs fall (among others).


When the crumbs fall

Schonmaier Nova Scotia lake.jpg

into my cage, I taste

Lorca on my lips.  why

had I forgotten


the stars? during

all those summers

the water stroked


my skin as I swam

in the night’s mirror

note after note


the stars inked

on the score

sheets of the sky


and when I play

their songs



call me from

the dark opposite



From Dust Blown Side of the Journey (McGill-Queen’s University Press)