More to Keep Us Warm
Both chronicle and confrontation, the poems of Jacob Scheier’s debut work out and through notions of loss. As the death of a young man’s mother instigates and informs these investigations, the realities of romantic failures become inextricably connected, and in the process More to Keep Us Warm maps the limitations, and breaking points, of the human heart. Questioning how and why we fall in and out of love becomes the collection’s haunting refrain. At the same time, Scheier’s poems mourn the absence of both religious and cultural identity. Facing the painful and confusing losses of his life, the support of the only “tradition” the writer knows — an atheist, socialist upbringing — proves unsatisfying. In response, More to Keep Us Warm explores the formation of a new, complex sense of self as inherited belief systems fail. With humour, sardonic wit, and conversational charm, this search engages and struggles with Judeo-Christian tradition to become an intimate meditation on the nature of God in a secular world.
Jacob Scheier is a Toronto writer. His poems have appeared in several literary journals, including Descant and The White Wall Review. Scheier was the winner of the 2003 Art Bar Discovery Night, a finalist for CBC Radio’s second annual Poetry Face-Off, and formerly edited existere, York University’s journal of art and literature.