In Mr. Sapiens, Jesse Patrick Ferguson’s third collection of poems, the composer of Harmonics and the architect of Dirty Semiotics now wears the hats of raconteur, portrait artist, correspondent and naturalist. In this astonishing variety of voices, Ferguson tells us of fighter pilots made redundant by unmanned drones, the secrets hidden in great works of art, a local plague of garden slugs and the stability of the Earth’s core. Mr. Sapiens is a chameleon, a master of disguise, the consummate Everyman. Ferguson’s subtle poems catch us with our guard down and change the world before our eyes.
Excerpt: "Keys to Success"
Be Buddha cubicled. Extend
consciousness as far as these four
laminate-grey walls. Always strike at the point
behind the computer screen
for maximum impact. This career
is ergonomically fitted to your sitting form.
Now, imagine a plumb line dangling
from the base of the skull, down through storeys,
penetrating sewers and subway tunnels,
touching the untouched earth.
Just to fathom this, to know how far down
awareness can go. Reel it back now;
lunch is over. This is control.
Review (Michael Dennis, Michael Dennis, 12/02/2015)
“Mr. Sapiens by Jesse Patrick Ferguson is a mature entertainment of the first order. Lightning behind your eyeballs intelligent, Ferguson is incandescent.”
Christmas shopping: The gift of a good book (Barbara Carey, Toronto Star, 06/12/2014)
“This exuberant, eclectic collection hops with energy and panache through a wide swath of subjects, from hipster culture to a whimsical guide to geology from planet Earth’s point of view.”
Mr. Sapiens: Matured like fine wine (Adam Brazeau, Seaway News, 14/11/2014)
“‘Running throughout the collection is an awareness of the divided nature of modern life—how people have primal urges that culture often forces us to hide—hence the title, Mr. Sapiens, which combines our species’ scientific name with the cultural title, Mr.’”
Poetry in Motion: Jesse Patrick Ferguson & Mr. Sapiens (All Lit Up, 10/11/2014)
"A diverse collection – in form, subject matter, voice, and mood. The poetic speakers are often conflicted, alternately expressing wonder and revulsion at the world around them – the world around us. Whether lamenting a fighter pilot’s redundancy in the face of unmanned drones or celebrating (sort of) the arrival of spring, Ferguson renders the tiniest, most ordinary details in surprising, extraordinary language."
Matters of the soul (Andrew Rankin, Chronicle Herald, 06/11/2014)
“An anthology spanning four years, it offers a profound insight into a young man who sets his mind to timeless matters of the soul, centring on good and evil, love and loss. Complex yet accessible, his work is meant above all to be read and remembered.”
"Most Anticipated: Our Fall 2014 Poetry Preview" (Kerry Clare, 49th Shelf, 18/08/2014)
Kerry Clare lists Mr. Sapiens as one of their most anticipated poetry books of fall 2014.
Jesse Patrick Ferguson reads "Mr. Sapiens," the title poem from his new poetry collection. Make sure to check out his fantastic music videos on YouTube, also.
Jesse Patrick Ferguson reads "For the Fighter Pilot Made Redundant by Unmanned Drones."
"Boots on the Ground" from Mr. Sapiens.