The poems in From Out of Nowhere are steeped in the Prairie landscape and wilderness and explore the male domain.
From Out of Nowhere explores how cities have changed the landscape for prairie poetry. The poems find the intersections where nature speaks through cowboys, hunters, fishers, farmers, and businessmen. These voices are captured in cityscapes where they mutate, harmonize, and resonate to give new meaning to old turns of phrase, calls to actions, and directions home.
The characters here find themselves in new, sometimes confusing roles: the cowboy wakes up a street person, hunters and fishers devolve into sportsmen, and the farmer is pressed to see himself as a businessman.
In the end, From Out of Nowhere reveals that it is within our green spaces that we are reminded of our past, our present and our uncertain future, leaving us to find ourselves and our spirits, somewhere between city and country.
From Out of Nowhere was shortlisted for the Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book, and for the Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize for Poetry. John Toone was the Runner-up for the John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer in 2009.
"Written in a tough-guy's one-liners, John Toone's From Out of Nowhere is a marvelous compendium of wordplay and contemporary business, political, cowboy and advertising clichés set to stagger in single broken lines."
-- The Dalhousie Review
"Winnipeg poet John Toone's debut ... has boldly emerged like a call from the shadows of the Fort Rouge bridge: swift, startling and resonant."
-- The Winnipeg Free Press
"There are moments when Toone's insight is so fresh and new regarding things that have always been written about that it raises the hair on your arms. His innovative wordplay and use of a staggered structure make you consider the weight of each word carefully."
-- The Goose: A Journal of Literature, Environment and Culture in Canada
"John Toone is in the midst of perfecting the prairie roar, the long poem of multiple perspectives and precise insights. There are echoes of Cooley, Hunter, and Kroetsch in these pages. From Out of Nowhere is a relentless and exhilarating text."
-- Jon Paul Fiorentino, author of stripmalling
"From Out of Nowhere is poetry written against paperwork and the banal language of bureaucracy and control. John Toone’s phrases slip out of the rut of conventional meaning through surprising turns. This book brooks no lazy readers: instead, it fights for a fresh engagement with words and the ideas they carry."
-- Alison Calder, author of Wolf Tree
John Toone is a writer and business consultant and past President of the Manitoba Writers’ Guild. He has a BA in English and a Bachelor of Commerce, both from the University of Manitoba. His poetry has been published in Prairie Fire and dANDelion and other publications. He lives in Winnipeg with his wife and children.