read an excerpt from Disappointment Island
Knowledge, knowability & the alternate guide: an interview with Monty Reid by rob mclennan in ottawater #2 (in pdf format)
review of Disappointment Island from The New Quarterly Online
Disappointment Island short listed for 2007 Ottawa Book Awards
Since Alberta poet Monty Reid moved from badlands Alberta (Drumheller) to badlands Quebec (Aylmer) in April 1999, he has barely published at all, with his last trade collection Flat Side (Red Deer Press) appearing the fall before.
Now that he has moved directly into the City of Ottawa, he gives us his Disappointment Island, made up of a sequence of sequences, including some that have previously appeared in editions by BookThug and above/ground press.
Monty Reid takes the best of a small idea and stretches it, moving from poems that are short, individual, and even quick, and that resonate through simple information, in that way that feels almost Creeley-esque, to the extension of an idea pulled gracefully across the page.
The winner of the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry three times and a three-time Governor General's Award nominee, these may poems hold the weight of the emotional world on their shoulders, referencing bluegrass, the Gulf Islands and Cuba, as well as friends and lovers, and they never disappoint.
Widely published as a poet and essayist, Monty Reid has produced a substantial volume of literary work. His volumes include The Life of Riley (Saskatoon SK: Thistledown Press, 1981), These Lawns (Red Deer AB: Red Deer College Press, 1990), The Alternate Guide (Red Deer College Press, 1995), Dog Sleeps (Edmonton AB: NeWest Press, 1993) and Flat Side (Red Deer College Press, 1998), a collection of new and selected poems, Crawlspace (Toronto ON: House of Anansi, 1993), and the chapbooks cuba A book (Ottawa ON: above/ground press, 2005) and Sweetheart of Mine (Toronto ON: BookThug, 2006).
His work is included in the anthology Decalogue: ten Ottawa poets, published as part of the first season of books by Chaudiere Books.
He spent nearly twenty years working at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Drumheller, Alberta, in the heart of the Alberta badlands, before moving to the Ottawa area in 1999 to work at the Canadian Museum of Nature.