Walter Hildebrandt

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This volume contains two long docu-poems, one about Berlin and the other Orgreave. The long poem form allows Hildebrandt to explore multiple themes and allows numerous threads to be started, followed and interwoven throughout the poems. “Berlin 2013” weaves his own personal history with that of well-known events of the 20th century including the rise of the Nazis, the building of the Berlin Wall and ultimately it’s dismantling. Hildebrandt explores a number of forms for representing history including novels, graffiti and the movie Don’t Come Knocking by Wim Wenders. “Orgreave June 18, 1984: Accounts of the English Civil War” is inspired by the conceptual art of Jeremy Deller who staged a reenactment of the 1984 miners’ strike in the U.K., where Margaret Thatcher’s government closed coal mines, provoked and attached strikers. The full story of the events that unfolded are not well known but with this long poem and Deller’s documentary, Hildebrandt endeavours to ensure that this history will not be forgotten. Hildebrandt’s writing is inspired by the Continental philosophers including Theodore Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Jacques Rancière, Alain Badiou and Giorgio Agamben. The historical events Hildebrandt explores are moments of Kairos or in Walter Benjamin’s philosophy moments of “messianic time” when the pace of history changes. Hildebrandt uses Kairos in a radical sense as opposed to accepting time as Chronos or clock ticking time. Hildebrandt’s language is forceful and unadorned urging readers to confront stories hiding in plain sight.

“Hildebrandt’s “live mind” with its brood of radical thinkers goes to the “hinges of history,” to the heart of the matter, to what matters to us now in our dwelling, itself both unhinged and already multi-inhabited.”
~ Charles Noble

Historian and poet Walter Hildebrandt was born in Brooks, Alberta and now lives in Edmonton. He was the Director of University of Calgary Press and Athabasca University Press. He has worked as a historian for Parks Canada and as a consultant to the Treaty 7 Tribal Council, the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations and the Banff Bow Valley Task Force. He was awarded the Gustavus Meyers Award 1997, for outstanding work on human rights in North America, for his book The Spirit and Intent of Treaty 7. His long poem Sightings was nominated for the McNally-Robinson Book of the Year in Manitoba in 1992. A previous volume of poetry, Where the Land Gets Broken, received the Stephan G. Stephanson for best poetry book in Alberta in 2005. This is his ninth book of poetry.

ISBN 978-1-77171-141-8
188 pages
7 x 8
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