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4.25×5.5 Inches, 172 pages
$15 CDN / US
Ian Sullivan Cant’s zines / illustrated poems are collected here into his first book, Papercut Heart. In deceptively simple pages, he tackles love, death and dreams with a wistful existentialism. Chia pets frolic with narwhals under banners that flutter with secret hope, Frankenstein’s creation speculates on the nature of self, and a story written entirely in Morse Code weaves through silent statuary. Cant’s writing confronts the tragic disparity between fantasy and ideal, and the disappointment of reality, but always seeks to touch the reader with melancholy. His obsession with B–horror movies allows him to find the beauty in trash culture, either in the form of a hidden and subversive genius, or the tenderness and vulnerability of unskilled creative passion. Cant’s instruction in zen poetry is evident in his clean, delicate linework which belies the depth of his sentiments. Ruminations on the temporal nature of all things are thrown into stark relief by the accompanying drawing, be it a cupcake, a matchbook, or the image of a lost love, and many, many, talking ravens.
“Cant is at his best with his more confident, minimalist drawings and his alluringly cryptic lines… Two stand-out sections take this approach. In one we follow a string of Morse code through a dream-like sequence of ribbons, staircases, cell phones, and birds. In another, hand-shadow wings flap across several notebook pages in a flutter of smudges, while a sentimental but heartfelt poem tags along.” — MRB
“Ian Sullivan Cant’s exquisite, Gorey-esque drawings and his alternately blunt and tender words make his creations as intriguing and endearing as a stranger who just might become a soulmate (or is that a soulmate who has become a stranger?). When, in the words of one of his speakers, you ‘don’t . . . really need a poem, just someone to talk to,’ pick up this book. Not only will it listen, it will talk back, and what it says will be surprising and funny and right.” — Stephanie Bolster
Ian Sullivan Cant was born in St. John’s Newfoundland and grew up in the east end of Toronto. Now he lives in Montreal where he writes, draws, studies at the Zen Centre, and works for the yoga magazine Ascent. Ian has loved independent publishing since he was a kid, but only started photocopying his own zines, as the unkindness of ravens press, after graduating from Concordia University’s Creative Writing program, where he studied poetry under the GG award winning poet Stephanie Bolster. Papercut Heart is the result of those years of zine making.