Of Place and Memory is a poetic journey through an emotional landscape, as well as a reflection on that journey. The book pulsates with desires for, and struggles with, identities and communities. Memories of/and places are personal, as well as cultural, social, and political; they are also emotional. Of place and memory invites the reader into conversation, and creates a space for that conversation.
Advance Praise for Of Place and Memory
In the tradition of the American beat poet, Allen Ginsberg, who sought holiness in unsanctioned sex, John Guiney Yallop writes the profane into sacred text. The final poem in his "Catholic terrain" section, titled "Holiness" reads:
to receive —
what sacrament is this?
Guiney Yallop finds the language for his personal pantheon of images — those specific and formative experiences both inside, and outside, of the religious and educational communities. He seeks pattern and image — and ultimately, understanding — of the socio-cultural actions that have both helped and hindered, both formed and'deformed.' Sexuality is his plumb-line, his wrestling angel from whom he demands blessing.
The poems are bounded by insightful and corroborating guidance for readers interested in exploring what poetic inquiry 'looks like' within the Humanities generally, gender and masculinities studies, Faculties of Education, Faculties of Theology, and the broader literary communities. Guiney Yallop's presentations of his poetry have been enthusiastically received coast-to-coast. His is a startlingly fresh, new, voice. Read this book.
Cornelia Hoogland, Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Western Ontario
Of Place and Memory will appeal to scholars and educators in educationand creative writing and the social sciences, but it will also appeal to readers who are not part of academic circles. The book can be read as a collection of poems that sing out in a sustained and engaging voice, or it can be read as an insightful discussion of research methodologies in the social sciences, or it can be read as an engaging memoir that touches the imagination and heart, or it can be read as the moving testimony of a gay educator who has lived his whole life in the haunting and holy pursuit of language and literacy as democratic and just. It can be read in numerous ways, but it cannot beignored. John J. Guiney Yallop has composed a compelling book that, by its creative contravention of cliché and convention, calls us together to critical conversation. This book is a singular gift!
Carl Leggo, Professor, Department of Language and Literacy Education, University of British Columbia.