Floating Life

Floating Life

Moez Surani
  • $17.00

May 2012
96 pages | ISBN 978-1-894987-63-9

Floating Life, Moez Surani’s second collection of poetry, takes the reader on a dizzying tour of the world, stopping in Cairo, Muju, Madrid and Cape Breton. Interwoven through these evocative glimpses of places and the people that live in them are poems exploring relationships, reflecting on identity and considering the passing of time.


BWS 08.05.13: Moez Surani (Daniel Perry, Brockton Writers Series, 01/05/2013)
Perry says about Surani’s poem “Theseus & Aegeus,” "Moez’s poem renovates and modernizes the myth by adding two elements: speed and chance. The death (or at least, implied or coming death) is not chosen like Aegeus’s, it’s random, and it throws the speaker into a position atop the familial order that he may not be ready for.”

Spring: A Poem (Toronto Review of Books, 17/04/2012)
The Toronto Review of Books reprinted Moez Surani's poem "Spring" from Floating Life and posted an audio file of him reading.

That Expansive I (Jacob McArthur Mooney, 16/04/2013)
"Moez Surani has found a home on the terrain between modernism and post-modernism, the examined life and the examination of examined life. His andante rhythmic preferences and tendency to open into epiphany are confronted quite brilliantly with an actionable understanding of the kind of poetry he is writing, how that approaches the ear and eye of its reader, and what can be done to modulate or surprise within that expectation. It's an exciting skill to see come online for a young poet."

"After Arriving Home and Reading Your Letter from Port Said" (The Walrus, 01/06/2012)
The Walrus reprinted this poems from Moez Surani's Floating Life

"Floating Life: A Photo Essay by Moez Surani" (Moez Surani, OpenBook: Toronto, 12/06/2012)
"In this special feature, Moez takes Open Book on a tour of his travels and how they impacted his writing process for Floating Life. Read on to hear from Moez in his own words."

How to Do It in a Canoe: The Fish Quill Poetry Boat Series, with Moez Surani (Erin Knight, Open Book: Ontario, 13/08/2012)
"Today Moez Surani, author of the recently released Floating Life (Wolsak & Wynn), gives us a glimpse of life in the canoe, where there is no such thing as 'my balloon' or 'your balloon': only 'our balloon.'"

Paddling poets end third tour (Hugo Rodrigues, Brantford Expositor, 19/08/2012)
"On Friday the sextet — poets Linda Besner, Kevin McPherson Eckhoff, Leigh Kotsolidis, Moez Surani, Darryl Whetter and musician Jack Marks — performed at the Station Coffee House and Gallery together with Mary Cushnie-Mansour and the Rosie Burgess Trio"

Here is what Nina Leo had to say about Appollonia (Nina Leo, Image Interview Blog, 13/10/2012)
During this year's Nuit Blanche, Moez Surani spent the 3–4 a.m. shift at the Apollonia installation, sitting in a stationary moving van and reading poetry to people. Check out the article for more information.

Gift Guide: A list for the literary (Mark Medley, National Post, 30/11/2012)
“Moez Surani’s second collection, Floating Life (Wolsak and Wynn, 96 pp, $17), a globe-trotting hymn to life and love that travels from Cape Breton to Cairo, Barcelona to Bombay. These make perfect stocking stuffers.”


Poetry Review (Vanessa Herman, Malahat Review, 18/04/2013)
“This is the strength of Surani’s second book of poetry, subtle language that welcomes quietness.”

Implications of impermanence: Moez Surani's Floating Life (Lise Gaston, ARC Poetry Magazine, 20/12/2012)
“Moez Surani’s second col­lec­tion aims for such moments of ima­gistic detail—but with the recog­ni­tion that not all is pleas­ure and diver­sion. Rather, these sparse, mov­ing poems are buoyed on under­cur­rents of loss and med­it­a­tions, in which love and its phys­ical mani­fest­a­tions are tenu­ous, ever-shifting, as vibrant yet as insub­stan­tial as light.”

Poetry: A philosophical take on poetry in the digital age (Jonathan Ball, Winnipeg Free Press, 25/08/2012)
“Surani's work has a sense of intimacy, as if he truly is ‘Trying to write out this life / pushing for clarity.’ However, he is at his best when making blank observations that produce more emotion than they should.”

Floating Life buoys spirits with elegant simplicity (Philip K. Thompson, Chronicle Herald, 29/07/2012)
"Phrases and descriptions are unexpected. Never cliched. Fresh. Never stale.”

Floating Life (Jay Miller, literatured.com, 28/07/2012)
"Reading Surani is the fastest way to culture yourself. The minimalist’s combination of romantic musings and sightseeing is fresh. His travels are so far-roaming and summarized in such tight lines that he is providing a wholly intimate and pocketable globe of wonders. Even the shortest poems are conversation worthy."


"Incidental Things": An Interview with Moez Surani (Alessandro Porco, OpenBook: Toronto, 25/04/2012)
"It’s a book of pleasures: friendships, love, new experiences and the darker emotions that come with these. It is disengaged from some things, most obviously there are no overt political poems, but it’s not possible to be completely disengaged. I left one way and found myself on another. The title, Floating Life, is the book’s state of mind." Moez Surani

Spring Collections (CBC Books, 30/04/2012)
"Floating Life, Moez Surani's second collection of poetry, is true to its title: it's about being on the move, connections made and left behind, and, above all, the fleeting nature of experience, rendered in language that is spare but delicately evocative."

Moez Surani - Floating Life (an interview) (Toronto Quarterly, 03/12/2012)
Floating Life is about tone. I realize now that’s it’s only superficially about travel. Tone is my way of getting at the relationship between an individual and the world, which is probably the second most important relationship – the most important likely being an individual’s relationship with him or herself.”


At the book launch in Toronto, Moez Surani reads "near the pagoda" from his newest poetry collection, FLOATING LIFE (Wolsak and Wynn Publishers, 2012).

Moez Surani reads "You Wanted" from Floating Life from the book launch in Toronto in May 2012.


Click to read the first section of Moez Surani's Floating Life.

About the Author

Moez Surani is a poet, reviewer and short fiction author. His writing has been included in numerous anthologies and literary journals, including The Literary Review of Canada and The Walrus. He has attended writing residencies in Finland, Latvia and Switzerland, and his writing has won the Chalmers Arts Fellowship, the Kingston Literary Award and the Antigonish Review’s Great Blue Heron Poetry Contest. He lives in Toronto.

Great Blue Heron Poetry Prize Citation, Antigonish Review: Fall 2010

When a poet speaks of having been “given” a line, often the poem’s first line that sets the form, pace and sounds of the rest of the poem, then he or she may be hearing poetry at its origin, not as an idea, not as a mood.

The judges decided that the first prize winner, “Are the Rivers in Your Poems Real,” by Moez Surani is such a poem. It shows a fearless trust in the lyrical. It never abates its space. One judge commented: “The speaker’s insistent questioning is mirrored by the poem’s form rolling forward with confidence, sustaining its energy throughout, allowing its impulse the room to develop, deepen and reset its course.” There are, however, persistent ambiguities in the poem preventing it from being too rhetorical. There are switches of address and reference from “rivers” to “this river,” from “they” to “it,” from “you” to “I,” from western cultural experience to eastern, from the whole body of human poetic experience to the particular poetic experience of the speaker. Whether the speaker’s river is confluent with all other rivers, or whether those rivers are confluent with the speaker’s river may seem only two different ways of asking the same question. But the poem refuses to say yes to either. By doing so it dramatizes the tension between the world of the collective myth and poetic imagination on the one hand and individual experience and empirical decision on the other.

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