One of my favorite artists, writers and people, Sonja Ahlers, will be launching her new book tonight at Vancouver’s the Western Front and I encourage you to make the time and show some hustle to be there.
Sonja is one of the finest poets that I know and her last book, Fatal Distractions, is constantly on loan from my personal library.
As you can see from the image that I captured from an advance pdf of her new book, the Selves, she works in a kind of visual collage overlapped by hand written seemingly tangential stream of consciousness style that evokes a multitude of voices simultaneously.
Voices that chatter up like a sudden flock of surprising little birds.
Like scraps of paper ideas caught in the wind, the sort of thoughts that you might put out of your head for being too frivolous when you’re trying to have a serious thought, those magazine moments of the mind, are separated from their original sources and powerfully recontextualized, remixed and reimagined as a kind of new mythology.
And I don’t even know what that means, but to me it’s all about the evocation and the persistent desire to find new ways to express ideas.
This book is a strong, focused, clean deployment of Sonja’s vision. The images are evocative, deeply feminine, occasionally satanic, rock n roll inspired and present a radically imaginative new way of storytelling.
I can remember visiting Sonja at her house a few years ago before she moved to Dawson Creek for the first time. We sat out back of her house and talked. She showed me some things that she had been working on, there were a few Wishbone Ash (yes, Wishbone fucking Ash!) and Fleetwood Mac records on the floor in the living room, remnants of a recent party.
She told me that she was working on something new, a new book maybe. We kept in touch here and there over the years.
Then her work appeared on the cover of Lisa Foad’s The Night Has a Mouth which was amazing.
And now, years later, she returns to the old neighborhood, east Vancouver to reveal her new book, the Selves.
See you there.