David James Brock

playwright, poet, librettist

David James Brock is a Canadian playwright, poet and librettist. Author of poetry collection, Everyone is CO2. Librettist for Scottish pub opera, The Sloans Project. Co-creator of Breath Cycle, an opera for cystic fibrosis.

Everyone is CO2

Review by Alisa Gordaneer (As in The Malahat Review, 189, Winter 2014, 85-87)
“Everyone is CO2...journeys through an imagination determined to embrace the vastness of its own potential, trying out various poetic forms, and speaking in a multitude of voices. It can take on the persona of an apocalyptic mother, as in “Mercury,” or an all-knowing commentator who sees through social veneers to the tired truths of contemporary living…”

Review by Michael Dennis (Today's Book of Poetry, September 15, 2014)
"These poems leap from the page directly at your jugular.  That is, of course, only after he has sucker-punched your brain.  This is a master stage director plotting the audience and organizing their gasps... Brock shreds common sense as unnecessary as he rollicks all over the place with Shaman-like wisdom and an encyclopedic memory... I thought Everyone is CO2 was whipsmart stuff from start to end."

Review by Mark Sampson (Free Range Reading, August 8, 2014)
Everyone Is CO2 taps into very specific periods of pop culture... the references here will resonate most with those born in the 1970s and `80s. Yet what comes of all this? An entirely new and fresh existence for these cultural touchstones, infusing them with an agency of their own. This is something that Brock does exceedingly well."

Review by Nico Mara-McKay (This magazine, July 15, 2014)
"The poems in David James Brock's debut collection never rest, ranging in time (1959 through to 2039), place (Toronto, Steubenville, Venus), and subject (pop culture, music, the epic of Gilgamesh). Topics and themes switch a break-neck speed, united only by a sharp eye for dramatic imagery."

Review by William Kemp ((parenthetical), May 21, 2014)
“Seldom have I read, in recent memory, a collection of poetry that is so willing to have fun... Brock’s poetic voice is a much-appreciated, much-welcomed one that is, for the most part, conversational in tone, but still steeped in technique and skill. He shows the reader, without a hint of irony, the strange, quirky beauty in a language often thought of as less refined—and by extension, less beautiful... It’s a great debut from a great poet. Read it.”

Article by Kris Bone (The Town Crier, April 21, 2014)
“An expert combination of smart, snappy phrasing and interesting, offbeat subject matter made his poems exciting to listen to. Brock’s work continues to mutate and evolve, comfortable spanning multiple genres and conceptual divides as he moves into his first full-length publication, with his poetry stronger, stranger, and more fearless than anything we’ve seen from him yet."

Interviews

Tap Ex: Metallurgy (Toronto, Ontario)

  • Review by John Harris for Tap Ex: Metallurgy as part of Tapestry New Opera's 2015-2016 season (Tap:Ex Metallurgy: Punk and opera collide in adventurous musical, Globe and Mail, November 20, 2015).
  • Review by Jenna Douglas & Greg Finney for Tap Ex: Metallurgy as part of Tapestry New Opera's 2015-2015 season (He said/she said: Tap:Ex Metallurgy, Schmopera, November 20, 2015).
  • Review by Richard Trapunski for Tap Ex: Metallurgy as part of Tapestry New Opera's 2015-2015 season (Punk and opera meet on each other’s turf for TAP:EX Metallurgy, Chart Attack, November 19, 2015).
  • Review by Michael Vincent for Tap Ex: Metallurgy as part of Tapestry New Opera's 2015-2015 season (Tapestry Opera Gets a Punk Rock Twist, Musical Toronto, November 20, 2015).
  • Review by Catherine Kustanczy for Tap Ex: Metallurgy as part of Tapestry New Opera's 2015-2015 season (Playful Punk Opera, Play Anon, November 22, 2015).

Sewing the Earthworm (Recording and Performance)

  • Review by John Gilks for Sewing the Earthworm performed as part of Canadian Art Song Project's 'The Living Spectacle' (The Living Spectacle. Opera Ramblings, November 8, 2015)
  • Review by Jenna Douglas for Sewing the Earthworm performed as part of Canadian Art Song Project's 'The Living Spectacle' (Aptly Named: The Living Spectacle. Schmopera November 7, 2015)
  • Review by Leslie Barcza for Sewing the Earthworm performed as part of Canadian Art Song Project's 'The Living Spectacle'  (CASP: The Living Spectacle. Barczablog November 8, 2015)
  • Review by Lydia Perovic for Sewing the Earthworm performed as part of the Canadian Art Song Project's 'The Living Spectacle' (CASP, gasp! Definitely the Opera November 8, 2015)
  • Review by Cecilia Livingston for CMC recording of Sewing the Earthworm (Notations, Summer 2015)
  • Review by John Gilks for the Sewing the Earthworm Canadian Art Song Recital (Canadian Art Song Project Recital, Opera Ramblings, March 2012)

Breath Cycle (Glasgow, Scotland)

"Chopin's Ghost" and "Miss Quickly" in Tapestry New Opera's Songbook (Toronto, Canada)

Cook as part of Theatre Lab's You Can Sleep When You're Dead (Toronto, Canada)

The Sloans Project in the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Edinburgh, Scotland)

The Sloans Project in the 2012 Sound Festival, Scotland's Festival of New Music (Aberdeen, Scotland)

UVic 50th Anniversary Prize for Dramatic Monologue

The Sloans Project in the Merchant City Festival (Glasgow, Scotland)

Pub Operas in Tapestry New Opera's 2010-11 Season (Toronto, Canada)

Black Metal Melody (poetry chapbook published by Ferno House)

Wet in the 2010 Toronto Fringe Festival (Toronto, Canada)

  • Review of Wet in Mooney On Theatre by George Perry. Jul. 4, 2010.
  • Review of Wet in Eye Weekly by Christopher Hoile. Jul. 2, 2010.