Where Shadows Will

Where Shadows Will
Selected Poems 1988-2008; City Lights Spotlight No. 1




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Best Poetry Books of 2009 - Brandon Shimoda

"... if by BEST is meant those books of poetry that inflame both conscious and subconscious mind to such a point that not only the poetry, as fluid summons, but I, as fluid respondent, both obese and fall away at once, then these few books have provided such something, for whatever and individual reason...

Where Shadows Will: Selected Poems 1988-2008 by Norma Cole (City Lights)
A slight Selected, thinner than some of her individual volumes, though still requiring (softly, assuredly) the best of attention. Any invitation of accessing Norma Cole's work must be taken."

-Brandon Shimoda, No Tells Dec 9, 2009

Monday, May 18th: Norma Cole

Norma Cole reads from "Where Shadows Fall" at Moe's Books in Berkeley, CA.

-Norma Cole, Moe's Books May 18, 2009

12 or 20 questions: with Norma Cole

"Norma Cole is a poet, painter and translator. Among her books are Collective Memory, Do the Monkey, and Spinoza in Her Youth. Just out are Natural Light from Libellum Press and Where Shadows Will: Selected Poems 1988—2008 from City Lights. Cole's essays and talks, To Be At Music, will appear in June 2010 from Omnidawn Press. Translation work includes Danielle Collobert’s Journals, Fouad Gabriel Naffah’s The Spirit God and the Properties of Nitrogen and Crosscut Universe: Writing on Writing from France. Cole has been the recipient of a Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation Award, Gertrude Stein Awards, the Fund for Poetry, and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. A Canadian from Toronto, Cole migrated via France to San Francisco where she has lived since 1977. She teaches at the University of San Francisco.

1. How did your first book change your life? How does your most recent work compare to your previous? How does it feel different?

Aha! You use Garamond. I just chose it for the body of my forthcoming book of essays, TO BE AT MUSIC (Omnidawn June 2010). Experience, including "first book," changes one’s life. But every book begins in the nowhere."


-Rob Mclennan, Rob Mclennan's Blog Oct 16, 2009

Mint, Mnemosyne, And Metal: Making Language Tangible

"Norma Cole was recently in town (editor's note: that’s Seattle, where Olson lives) and I enjoyed her reading and bought her book, Where Shadows Will: Selected Poems 1988-2008. I have had a special fascination for Norma’s work for some time now and this is why: the words have a shiny, tangible brilliance, like knives. Not ordinary knives or hunting knives or those bizarre commando knives I sometimes see in the windows of the Army Navy Surplus store downtown, but Japanese knives, those beautifully balanced knives with linen textured resin handles and blades sharp enough to cut a proton in two."

-John Olson, the glade of theoric ornithic hermetica Aug 29, 2009

We Address, A Daily Poem
"I was born in a city between colored wrappers I was born in a city the color of steam, between two pillars, between pillars and curtains, it was up to me to pull the splinters out of the child's feet."
-Norma Cole Apr 26, 2009

Worldstruck, with an instrument

"An Interview with Norma Cole

Robin: You were born in Canada Norma. I understand that you lived in France for a time. What made you leave, and how did you find your way to San Francisco?

Norma: Actually my husband wanted to go back to Toronto, so we did, and eventually split up. The West Coast looked very interesting to me, especially San Francisco, culturally, politically; so we (my son and I) came out here. At that time he was just about to start first grade, and I wanted to be in a place where we would want to stay—for a while, at least. Thirty years later, we're still here."

-X Poetics Mar 4, 2009