Graham has set herself a vital moral task: actually to see the fantastic violence of resourcist culture, its appalling and unremitting abuse of the land, and to name the cultural forces that render that vast degradation almost invisible, reduce it to a blur on the edge of our fast commute. She has produced a work of unflinching, articulate witness. A keening, at once precise and profound.
— Jan Zwicky
The incantatory verses in Fast Commute cast a circle of heightened attention, in which it is safe to confront all that we avoid in our distracted lives. It is made of scenes and fragments that at first throb with alienation and grief for all we have done to harm the more-than-human world, until the steady accretion of images and language conjures a spell protecting us from the acedia that comes with living in colonized landscapes. Those who are comfortable in the world will be disturbed by these verses; those already disturbed will take comfort in them. — Trevor Herriot
Here is a lament for places in flux, where industrial, commercial, or suburban development encroaches or invades. From Highway 401 to Refinery Row east of Edmonton, from Lake Ontario to the Fraser River, this long poem takes aim at the structures that support ecological injustice and attempts new forms of expression grounded in respect for flora, fauna, water, land, and air. It also wrestles with the impossibility of speaking ethically about “the environment” as a settler living within and benefiting from the will to destroy that so often doubles as nationalism.
Following physical routes and terrains, Fast Commute exists both within and outside the dissociative registers of colonialism and capitalism. This deeply engaging book offers a way to see, learn about, and live in relationship with other-than-human life, and to begin dealing with loss on a grand scale.