The Empire's Missing Links

Walid Bitar

The Empire's Missing Links explores a world familiar to readers of Walid Bitar's previous three books: a world where language is never simple, where the most ordinary words are weapons used against us in the play for private and public power. Resembling a series of unflinchingly ambivalent, and often jarringly enigmatic, history lessons, Bitar's new poems are rich in original observations about our contemporary unease. The effect, in the end, is of a single wandering monologue, its 21st century sense of crisis encoded in unpredictable quatrains whose evasiveness is always in step with lapidary plainness and metaphorical surprise. The Empire's Missing Links is Bitar's darkest, most daring book yet.

Véhicule Press
Poetry 2008

Reviews


"Andrew Hood is a young (really young), driven (really driven), perceptive, under-the-skin writer. He's the real deal, and coming on strong; this is a writer you'll want to hitch a ride with from the outset, as the journey promises to be monumental." -Trevor Ferguson

"Andrew Hood's Pardon Our Monsters, simply put, is a powerhouse of artistry and reveals to us a writer in whom enormous talent deeply abides." -Montreal Review of Books

"It feels good and true and timeless. This story rivals the legendary best. Purely as a trigger for our deepest, intuitive understanding of humans and the world, it's flawless. It instantly swept away 40 of my years. I don't know how to say, in this few words, why, when the book gets good, it gets uncannily, magnificently good." -Jim Bartley, Globe and Mail

Walid Bitar was born in Beirut in 1961. He immigrated to Canada in 1969. His previous poetry collections are Maps with Moving Parts [Brick, 1988], 2 Guys on Holy Land [Wesleyan University Press, 1993], Bastardi Puri [The Porcupine's Quill, 2005] and The Empire's Missing Links [Signal Editions/Vehicule, 2008]. He lives in Toronto.
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