Clay Lamps and Fighter Kites


96 pages
ISBN 1-55128-087-6
DDC C811'.54





Illustrations by A. MacIvor
Reviewed by Susan McKnight

Susan McKnight is an administrator of the Courts Technology Integrated Justice Project at the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General.


Clay Lamps and Fighter Kites is a sensual mixing of South Asian and East
African imagery with a Canadian experience. Born in Scotland but raised
in Canada, Damian Lopes pulls all facets of his extremely varied
heritage to play in the simple, intimate poems. Although the reader may
not understand the exotic vocabulary used to describe various articles
in these poems, the surrounding words create a highly charged emotional
sense of awareness. The poems express an urgency and a gentleness at the
same time. Interspersed are longer free-verse poems that convey more
detailed descriptions of culture differences, which lead to a wider
global interpretation while still maintaining a level of intimacy
between two people. Many of the shorter poems are reminiscent of the
haiku style, allowing the reader to slip between the lines to create a
personal moment in time.

Damian Lopes’s first book of poetry, Towards the Quiet (1997), was
nominated for the Gerald Lampert Award. He is also the creator of
Sensory Deprivation, a collection of visual art, and Project X
1497–1999, a Web-based poetry-multimedia site.


Lopes, Damian., “Clay Lamps and Fighter Kites,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 29, 2024,