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THE TO-READ LIST: KAVEH AKBAR, PILGRIM BELL

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The latest addition to my ever-expanding to-read list: Kaveh Akbar's Pilgrim Bell , brought to my attention by this Rumpus book club chat . There's lots to think about in this conversation; I'm thinking about geometry and "spiritual technology powered by the human form" here . Love how the cover image takes apart the bell! the bell!

RECENTLY RECEIVED

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Resistance: Righteous Rage in the Age of #MeToo , edited by Sue Goyette. University of Regina Press, 2021 Sue Goyette's sensitive and uncompromising foreword is a necessary guide through this anthology of poems that take on, and take up, the subject of sexual assault and abuse. The presence of care and commitment, Goyette's and all the participants', is felt on every page. Four sections track increasing intensity: Innocence/Exposure; Endurance/Persistence; Rage/Resistance; and arrive at an unsettled rest: Survival/Recovery. Variations of Ren é e Munn's arresting cover image, "Ophelia," make striking section markers. Poems that open a world to me include Catherine Greenwood's "Black Plums," a chilling revision of the nursery rhyme about Little Jack Horner; Eleonore Schönmaier’s "Sixteen," in which two voices meet "on the narrow rocky trail;" Byrna Barclay's clear-eyed "Birdman," which watches an exterm

LINDSAY B-E, THE CYBORG ANTHOLOGY

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Lindsay B-e, "carbon cleaning columns". By permission Lindsay B-e ’s debut collection The Cyborg Anthology ( Brick Books , 2020) is a book that imagines itself into a post-future future, a time after robots and cyborgs, who had thrived alongside humans, have been largely wiped out by the Great Solar Flare of 2202. The anthology’s aim is “to preserve and remember the Cyborg poets.” B-e’s invented poets tell of being and suffering, while B-e’s poems examine being and the elements that compose it. They shift and open the question of what it is to be human. The playfulness of language delights me: titles like Hazel Hush’s “Relate Real Late” and “Topic Top Pick”, and the shaped poems of Patterson Armitage--The DictaScrivener, poems that curl and unfurl and clot over the page. The invented eras and schools make fond mockery of poetics and theory. And I’m moved by the expressions of desire, anguish, love and loss in these voices, how though some of them may deny it, they spea

RECEIVED: CHANGING THE FACE OF CANLIT

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Dane Swan's hefty new anthology of prose and poetry, Changing the Face of Canadian Literature (Guernica), has been at my elbow for a few weeks now. Thirty contributors (and an A-to-Z of recommended reading that will take you through a year if you read one a week) activate the title. A few highlights: Sennah Yee's graceful turns: ask me where I'm from / and I'll just say the same thing / o, Canada, duh and  you're frightened that I've / flourished right in the hyphen / that you've slapped on me ("5 Haiku for/from Canada") Doretta Lau's nimble leaps among time, place and memory: I had early acceptance and a full scholarship to the university I'd gone to for free dental care as a child. ("At Core We Think They Will Kill Us") Mary Pinkowski's ghosts and echoes: I do not know if / I am more in love with the moon or the tide / With the return or with the escape ("Let the Ghosts Out: A suite of poems") Ian Keteku's

FIRST LINES

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