Synopses & Reviews
"I read this book as an essay, a method of thought. Canty doesn't propose so much a theory of wind as a map of reflections on what emptiness holds, on what the imperceptible space between us occupies . . . The true object of this book's love, or quest, is not a weather phenomenon, but rather something more akin to the American soul."—Valérie Lefebvre-Faucher
Set the compass. Hoist the windsock. Ride where the wind wills it.
Mixing tropes of the road narrative, poetic fabulation, and philosophical memoir, The United States of Wind follows Daniel Canty, adventurer and wind seeker. Aboard the Blue Rider, a venerable midnight-blue Ford Ranger capped with a weathervane and a retractable windsock, he surrenders himself to the fluidity of air currents. The adventure leads him and artist Patrick Beaulieu from the plains of the Midwest up to Chicago, the Windy City, into the wind tunnel linking the Great Lakes, through the lost industrial cities of the Rust Belt, only to veer off into Amish pastoralia, to the forests of Pennsylvania, Civil War ground, where fracking is stirring up the ghosts of the first oil rush. Part travel book and part fable, The United States of Wind is a book with winged feet, in which the map of an invisible America slowly unfolds, sparkling with revelations.
Daniel Canty is a multidisciplinary artist whose works circulate freely between literature and publishing, film and theater, and contemporary art and design.
Oana Avasilichioaei is a translator and poet whose work traverses textual architecture, multilingualism, geography, and public space.
A winged book, the spectrogram of an invisible America, The United States of Wind basks in the half-light of revelations.
Mixing road narrative and philosophical memoir, The United States of Wind follows Daniel Canty, wind seeker. Aboard a Ford Ranger fitted with a weathervane and wind cone, he surrenders to air currents. The adventure leads him from the Midwest to Chicago, into the wind tunnel linking the Great Lakes, through the Rust belt, only to veer off into Amish pastoralia.
The United States of Wind documents a free-spirited journey through the American Midwest and on to the woods of Pennsylvania.
Raise the windsock. Read the compass. Ride where the wind wills it.
Late 2010. From the end of fall to the beginning of winter, Daniel Canty becomes a wind seeker. Aboard the Blue Rider, a venerable midnight-blue Ford Ranger crested with a weathervane and a retractable windsock, he surrenders himself to the fluidity of air currents. The adventure leads him and artist driver Patrick Beaulieu from the plains of the Midwest up to Chicago, the Windy City, into the wind tunnel linking the Great Lakes, through the cities of lost industry of the Rust Belt, only to veer off into Amish pastoralia, and to the forests of Pennsylvania, Civil War land, where fracking is stirring up the ghosts of the first oil rush.
Canty creates a gentle road book, a melancholy blue guide written in an airy, associative prose, where images coalesce and dissipate, carried away through the outer and inner American landscape. The book, mixing the tropes of road narrative, poetic fabulation, and philosophical memoir, reaches towards images on the horizon of memory, to find out where they come from, while coming to the foreordained realization that, wherever memory may lead us, its images will be long gone when we get there and most probably were never even there at all. The books through-line is about this emotional reality of images, the ways in which they take hold upon us and carry us back to the deep narrative of self. Clocking in at 160 pages, most readers dont realize that the adventure spans only ten days, and that The United States of Wind is, in a very real way, a journey through a fold in time.
About the Author
was born in the suburb of Lachine, Quebec, and now lives in Montreal. His works circulate freely between literature and publishing, film and theater, contemporary art and design. He is the author of The United States of Wind
(La Peuplade, 2014); a novel, Wigrum
(La Peuplade, 2011); and a history of automata in American literature, Êtres artificiels
(Liber, 1997). He has devised three award-winning collaborative books: Cité selon
(Le Quartanier, 2006), on the city; La Table des Matières
(Le Quartanier, 2007), on eating; and Le Livre de Chevet
(Le Quartanier, 2009), on sleeping. He has also translated books of poetry by Stephanie Bolster, Erin Moure, Michael Ondaatje, and Charles Simic. His recent exhibition, Bucky Ball
(Artexte, 2014) constructed a memory theater out of the ghost of Buckminster Fuller and the phantom landscape
of Expo 67.
Canty studied literature, the philosophy of science in Montreal, publishing in Vancouver, and
film in New York and Montreal. He teaches dramatic writing at LÉcole nationale de théâtre du Canada and event design at Université du Québec à Montréal. In 2014, he completed a six-month residency at the Studio du Québec in London.
His website is danielcanty.com
Exploring the infinite social, political, intimate possibilities of language, Oana Avasilichioaeis work traverses textual architecture, orality, and multilingualism (We, Beasts, 2012, winner of the QWF A. M. Klein Prize for Poetry), translation and collaboration (Expeditions of a Chimæra, co-written with Erín Moure, 2009), geography and public space (feria: a poempark, 2008). In recent years, Avasilichioaei has also been mapping poetry into performative sound work (oanalab.com). Born in Romania and living in Montreal, Canada, she has translated poetry and prose from Romanian (Nichita Stanescu, Occupational Sickness, 2006; and Paul Celan) and from Quebecois French (Louise Cotnoir, The Islands, 2011; Daniel Canty, Wigrum, 2013; Bertrand Laverdure, Universal Bureau of Copyrights, 2014). Avasilichioaei has edited several magazine issues, including Poetry in Translation from Quebec, Aufgabe, New York, 2013 and The Mapping Issue, Dandelion, Calgary, 2011. Current projects include Thresholds, which transposes some of the work in her 2015 poetry book Limbinal into sound performances and immersive installations, as well as a collaborative translation with Ingrid Pam Dick of Suzanne Leblancs The House as Ps Thinking, upcoming 2015.