A Bad Year for Journalists
by Lisa Pasold
Pop music jingles, statistics, the frames of text and camera selecting the world’s headlines for our perusal. A stroll along the Champs Elysees jammed against the slum of Kibera — A Bad Year for Journalists feeds the jagged, seductive language of media into the emotional cusinart lives of the media’s flawed and courageous practitioners.
what it was
not what it was like.
- Shortlisted for Alberta Book Awards Trade Fiction Book Award
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Lisa Pasold’s first book of poetry, Weave, was hailed as a masterpiece by Geist magazine. Her second book of poetry, A Bad Year for Journalists, was nominated for an Alberta Book Award. Her 2009 novel, Rats of Las Vegas, was described as “enticing as the lit-up Las Vegas strip and as satisfying as a winning hand at poker” by the Winnipeg Free Press. Lisa has taught creative writing at the American University in Paris and led writing workshops in places such as Dawson City, Yukon, and Winter Park, Florida. Lisa grew up in Montreal, which gave her the necessary jaywalking skills to survive as a poet and travel writer. While working as a journalist, Lisa has been thrown off a train in Belarus, mushed huskies in the Yukon, and been cheated in the Venetian gambling halls of Ca’ Vendramin Calergi.
Her 2012 book of poetry from Frontenac House, Any Bright Horse, was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award. The Globe and Mail has called her poetry “critical, darkly funny and painstakingly lyrical.” Her writing has appeared in a wide range of newspapers, magazines and anthologies including 100 Poets Against the War. She is the host and co-writer of Discovery World’s TV travel series “Paris Next Stop.”
By turns sympathetic, critical, darkly funny and painstakingly lyrical, the poems trace journalistic travels in the Middle East – “places at their best dismantled” – and overlay the national and geographical settings with characters and anecdotes so vivid the reader feels as if she might be at home in these places after all… In an increasingly hyperbolic idiom where everything is so conveniently unspeakable, Pasold speaks up, conveying more than impressions or exaggerations; these poems explain “what it was/ not what it was like”.
~Katia Grubisic, The Globe and Mail
Pasold has an unusual ability to paint a whole emotional world. It’s impossible to pluck a Pasold line out of context to show what I mean — her work is just too organic. You’ll have to read the whole book, and you’ll be glad you did.
~Alex Rettie, Alberta Views
A Bad Year for Journalists, in hard lines and fragmented images, evokes the bizarre world of international journalists: the surreal combination of danger and privilege that they embody and their tourist-but-not tourist relationship to the places they cover.
~Lee Shedden, Calgary Herald
A compelling cartography of war torn territory.
~Anne Burke, Prairie Journal
Pasold sneaks in mind’s-eye metaphors and images, the poems carefully structured and solid, belying their driving narrative – she weaves disjointed memories, from rusty jeeps to lust to typewriter. A thrilling, amazing work.
~Bryn Evans, Fast Forward