In her first full collection of poems, The Enchanted House, Beth E. Janzen explores the seductions and abductions of a self under the spell of fierce enchantments that are physical and metaphysical, blessing and curse. In her House, Janzen constructs stories of interiority in the house of the psyche, the body, the book.
Rigorous in curiosity and intellect, Janzen's poems are a delicate conversation between the truth of things as they are and things as they are imagined. They witness the violence and innocence of thoughts and actions stripped of generative power or constrained by pernicious fates, irresistible choices, and the intractable wills of domestic gods. Precise in form and language, Janzen traces the jubilant, wrenching, rough couplings and uncouplings at the core of human relationship -- and of metaphor.
Praise for Beth Janzen's poetry:
The poetry in Janzen's Night Vanishes has the elegance and inwardness of Japanese Haiku, and yet it is full of an intense and personal music. How can anything so delicate be so sharp?
— Joseph Sherman, Beautiful Veins
The stunning juxtapositions within these poems startle, intrigue, and haunt the reader.
— Dianne Morrow, Long Reach Home
Publisher Acorn Press says Janzen“explores the seductions and abductions of a self under the spell of fierce enchantments: physical and metaphysical, both blessing and curse.”
Born in the U.S. to Canadian parents who returned to Canada when Beth was eight, she grew up in Ontario in addition to living in “quite a few other places.”
These places include a move to Prince Edward Island in 2000 where she still lives – although for the past year she divided her time between the island and the hub city, teaching English at l’Université de Moncton.
Writing has been an interest since childhood, but Beth has only turned her attention to it“seriously, professionally,” since the early 1990s, including a chapbook in 2004.
The Enchanted House was earlier nominated for a P.E.I.Book Award. It is a book with“a great deal of depth and emotion that people can connect with at any level. ”These“finely-crafted”poems represent 10 years of effort.
“It does have a theme, ”says Beth,“but I didn’t start with a theme. I started by writing poems and then eventually wanted to put them together for a book. I selected ones that would make something cohesive, because to me a book is one thing – not just a bunch of poems that are collected together. It has different sections, and I think at one level it’s about the relationship that potentially one individual has with themself …”
Times Transcript January 24, 2014