How to Dance in This Rarefied Air

Now entering his nineties, Rienzi Crusz is widely published, and respected and loved for his unabashedly romantic and finely crafted poetry, though always existing below the mainstream radar.

How to Dance in this Rarefied Air offers select and new poems setting out his journey as a poet writing in Canada since the 1970s. It offers a poetics fashioned to meet the demands of writing on the cusp between two worlds, hence the songs of exile, the idioms of defiance and survival, a poetry fashioned to meet the existential concerns of the immigrant encounter. But Crusz has gone beyond the theme of mere displacement, by confronting themes such as love, politics, nature, God, and poetics itself. And always there remains the self-conscious, bordering on the postmodern, and, above all, a delightful irony.

Introduced by Linda Hutcheon, University of Toronto

“[R]omantic and keenly self-aware, How to Dance in this Rarefied Air examines the immigrant experience in Canada, and, by extension, the human experience, with an unabashed and postmodern flair and clarity.
–CBC Books

Praise for Rienzi Crusz:

“Arguably the best living Sri Lankan poet in English.”
World Literature Today

“At 84, the Waterloo poet knows a thing or two about mortality. His thoughts, musings and speculations, not to mention certainties and anxieties, are given eloquent expression in this deep, rich, moving meditative collection of poems that celebrate life as it reflects on death.”
–Robert Reid, The Record, December 2, 2009


Publication Date: June 2017

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-988449-05-0
Page size: 5.5″ x 8.25″
112 pages

eBook ISBN: 978-1-988449-08-1

Photo of Rienzi Crusz

Rienzi Crusz was born in Sri Lanka and came to Canada in 1965. Educated at the Universities of Ceylon, London (England), Toronto, and Waterloo. He has widely published in magazines in Canada and the United States, and is the author of ten previous collections of poetry.

Also by this author