Undark



BUY AT HARBOUR PUBLISHING

Undark

An Oratorio


By Sandy Pool


AVAILABLE
0-88971-273-5
978-0-88971-273-7
Nightwood Editions
5.5 x 8 - 80 pages
Paperback - $18.95
September 2012



"Later we will laugh; shake moonlight
off our clothes like ash.

For now we stare at the clock. The
day wears, tired as mechanism."
--from Undark


Undark: An Oratorio is the highly anticipated second collection from Sandy Pool, whose debut book of poetry Exploding into Night (Guernica, 2009) was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for poetry in 2010.

In the early 1900s, thousands of women between the ages of 11 and 45 were employed painting glow-in-the-dark watch faces in factories across North America. Several years after leaving the plant, the dial painters developed mysterious medical conditions. These included complete necrosis of the jaw, severe anemia, intense arthritic like pains, and spontaneous bone fractures. Though clearly ailing from the use of radium based paint, the women were intentionally misdiagnosed as having syphilis. Many women died in shame before ever receiving compensation.

Sandy Pool’s second book, Undark: An Oratorio, is equal parts dramatic elegy and poetic inquisition written in seven distinct voices. Drawing from the historical record of the ‘radium women’ and other instances of historical erasure, the work urges us to engage deeply with questions of time and women’s history. The book confronts Bakhtin’s notorious questions: What happens to time when history is being erased? What happens when time takes on flesh?