Digital Portfolio – Ryan Fitzpatrick

Below is a sampling of my creative work. It pulls from five projects, both published and in process. Enjoy.

Opening sequence from “Fortified Castles” (part of my 2014 book of the same name):

This sequence of unresolved sonnets churns the language of the self in isolation by heavily recombining, collaging, and treating the social textures of social media. I was originally struck by the way Facebook (in its early days) asked its users to constantly perform their status. Here I turn to “I” as a shifting pronoun to think about the relationship between self and group within the individualizing pressures of neoliberalism.

Read it here

Three poems from Coast Mountain Foot:

These poems come from my forthcoming book Coast Mountain Foot, which, on a content level, explores the relationship between Vancouver and Calgary as urban spaces. The book flips the gesture of George Bowering’s 1969 book Rocky Mountain Foot – a long poem that unfavourably compares Calgary to Vancouver. Rather than evaluate, I look for moments of connection, turning formally to the kind of lyric attentiveness that often gets reserved for nature poems. I ask how we manage to listen to spaces as they change and as we move between them.

Read it here or here

“That’s The Way I Always Heard It Should Be” from Dealing With It:

This poem comes from my in process manuscript Dealing With It, which collects poems that wrestle with a set of contradictions around white masculinity in an age of intensified misogyny and white supremacy. This book asks, I hope, what it might look like to abolish the kinds of harmful relations that nevertheless benefit me. Formally, the book takes an array of approaches from thoughful lyric to messy collage in an attempt to describe a dialectic between care and harm that often seems locked into place, determined by where each of us sits structurally.

Read it here or here

Draft of “Field Guide” (part of my in process manuscript My Hiroshima):

“Field Guide” is a substantive in process revision of a manuscript I drafted a decade ago with the support of the Canada Council and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. The original manuscript attempted to write about global extinction through the mock creation of a field guide to spotting extinct species in the wild. After writing the manuscript, I realized it didn’t address the larger stakes of extinction in a satisfying way – something that became particularly evident after doing critical work on poets like Rita Wong. I returned to the poem in the middle of our current climate crisis and began to rethink its investments into extinction through the lens of climate change denialism. Denialism is an intensely Albertan trait, emblematized for me in a hashtag that trended in Fort MacMurray after Neil Young said offhand that the tar sands looked like the bombing of Hiroshima, leading Fort Mac residents to take placid nature photos with the hashtag #myhiroshima. The poem builds on the attentiveness of Coast Mountain Foot to create a kind of durational lyricism that reflects on the slowly complex disaster we’re all sharing.

(I’ve opted, with some nervousness, to include the whole poem here because of the way its length is key to the text. Feel free to read as much or as little as you need.)

Read it here

Prototype work for Ace Theory/Well, Okay:

This early prototype collects where my current writing is at. I have become deeply interested in the possibilities of autotheory as a mode of thinking that straddles creative and academic concerns without being too coldly conceptual. I’ve been inspired by work by Erín Moure, Paul Preciado, Saidiya Hartman, and Billy Ray Belcourt as well as conversations with my friend and comrade Danielle LaFrance, who is a great Vancouver writer experimenting with a similar mix in her in process work Post-Dildo. Ace Theory/Well, Okay is a double threaded attempt to make sense of asexuality and compulsory sexuality as structural relations by thinking through intimacy, care, and isolation as things we can both theorize and dismissively quip about.

Read it here