The moving second collection of poems from award-winning author Chris Banks. Rooted in the pastoral tradition of Wordsworth, Frost and Wallace Stevens, 'The Cold Panes of Surfaces' describes the Southern Ontario landscape of trains, lakes, moose and pine with unflinchingly sharp image and metaphor. In so doing, he brings to it a distinctly modern edge, meditating on 'the rent we are paying to the planet for our waning lives'. Here, beetles become 'child kamikazes...a wallpaper of yellow-winged flames' and the planet is a 'Museum of Natural Beauty'. Banks takes imaginative leaps into the worlds of a magician's assistant, a fifteenth-century Japanese poet, and the Muse. Most of all, these poems eloquently describe childhood, loss in all its forms, the vagaries of relationships, and being 'a sullen young man / caught in the world's fist'. This is a remarkable collection, and a fitting follow-up to Banks' award-winning first book Bonfires.
Raised in the Ontario communities of Bancroft, Sioux Lookout and Stayner, where his father served postings as a small-town police officer, Chris Banks took his BA at the University of Guelph, a Master's in Creative Writing at Concordia and an education degree at Western. He currently works as an English and Creative Writing instructor at Bluevale Collegiate Institute in Waterloo, Ontario. His poetry has previously appeared in the Literary Review of Canada, Carousel and The Antigonish Review.