Like the “page turned down to make another / page,” Dog Ear explores the marks we leave on a world whose social and political markers are constantly shifting. In his fourth book of poems—and most powerful work to date—Jim Johnstone establishes himself as an exquisite observer of decay, both physical and spiritual. This is a universe where man resembles “the final / generation of a species branching / towards an in-between.” Johnstone’s poetry blurs past and present, private and public in a kinetic style marked by weird semi-narratives, defamiliarizing close-ups and raw self-examinations.
Jim Johnstone is the author of three previous books of poetry: The Velocity of Escape (2008), Patternicity (2010) and Sunday, the locusts (2011). He is the recipient of a CBC Literary Award, The Fiddlehead’s Ralph Gustafson Poetry Prize, and Matrix Magazine’s LitPop Award. Currently he’s the Poetry Editor at Palimpsest Press, and an Associate Editor at Representative Poetry Online. He lives in Toronto.