Dennis Cooley launches departures


For immediate release


Winnipeg, March 4, 2016—Coming this April, Turnstone proudly launches Dennis Cooley’s 20th book of poetry, departures, just in time for Turnstone Press’s 40th anniversary celebrations.

departures contains many of the elements that Dennis Cooley is renowned for: earthy language, word play, humour, and an almost childlike curiosity about the world.

 With one additional variant—the body betrayed.

Recovering in hospital after a burst appendix, Cooley suffers from terrible hallucinations and paranoia, a common side effect after a prolonged hospital stay. Determined to capture the moment, he writes everything down in a feverish haze.

Returning often to his manuscript, over the next 20 years, the collection of poems turns into philosophical ruminations on the ebb and flow of the body, the moon’s migration, and the cycle of the seasons, interwoven with the mechanics of DNA and the beginnings of human history.

It’s really quite a book.

A key figure in Winnipeg’s literary community for over 30 years, Dennis Cooley is the recipient of the 2015 League of Canadian Poets' lifetime member award and the 2013 Manitoba Writer's Guild Lifetime Achievement Award.

With departures Dennis Cooley coils and uncoils the language of our bodies, the subtle string of cells and letters which bind us to each other and to language. The writing of grief is never simple, never clear - it is a tangle ball of ribbon, sound and story. Here Cooley unwinds and unweaves, reknits and retangles but is never at a loss of words.
--Derek Beaulieu, Calgary Poet Laureate

“In departures Dennis Cooley wants to drive you home, but the car is dead, dead like the hospital food and the routines we normally accept when faced with mortal illness. Cooley stays alive in his music, the singer, the jester, the dancer in broken lines—he rejects the routine, finds the right found words, and sloughs off the dead language, death itself.”
--Maurice Mierau, author of Autobiographical Fictions

What a delight to discover new work from Canada’s preeminent literary trickster, Dennis Cooley. This gorgeous new book is a document of loss and leaving. But make no mistake, there is mind-bending word play and genre-defying experimentation in these pages too. Feelings, figures, and fonts collide in departures, Cooley’s best work in a long while.
--Jon Paul Fiorentino


Thursday, April 14, McNally Robinson, Atrium 7 p.m.

Edmonton Poetry Festival

Sunday, April 17, Turnstone Press Anniversary Event, 4 p.m.

Thursday, April 21, The Rasp and The Wine, headliner, 7 p.m.

Sunday, April 24, 4:30 p.m., tune in to a featured interview with Dennis Cooley and Carmelo Militano on P.I. Poetry, CKUW.


Turnstone Press
Founded in a Winnipeg pub in 1976 to publish chapbooks by Manitoba poets, Turnstone Press has become one of the most highly regarded book publishers in western Canada, publishing not only poetry but also fiction, literary criticism and non-fiction. In 1998 Turnstone Press launched Ravenstone Books, an imprint dedicated to mysteries, thrillers, and noir fiction. Turnstone Press is committed to our literary and cultural role in Manitoba and Canada and our mandate reflects this. We publish only Canadian authors or landed immigrants, we strive to publish a significant number of new writers, to publish in a variety of genres, and to publish 50 per cent Manitoba writers and/or books with Manitoba content.

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Last modified onFriday, 04 March 2016 12:37

Turnstone Press

206-100 Arthur Street
Winnipeg, MB   R3B 1H3
Ph: 204-947-1555; Toll Free: 888-363-7718

Turnstone Press acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Manitoba Arts Council, the Government of Canada, and the Province of Manitoba through Manitoba Sport, Culture and Heritage.

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