Category Archives: Poetry

Kathleen Wall & Veronica Geminder’s ekphrastic collaboration

Kathleen Wall & Veronica Geminder. Visible Cities. (University of Calgary Press 2018). How to write ekphrasis? There’s no easy answer, but Kathleen Wall has approached the problem through collaboration, in the case of Visible Cities, with her daughter, Veronica Geminder, … Continue reading

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Kelly Shepherd constructs a magpie nest of a text about Edmonton

Kelly Shepherd. Insomnia Bird: Edmonton poems. (Thistledown Press 2018). With Insomnia Bird, Kelly Shepherd establishes himself as Edmonton’s chief bricoleur, honouring & copying the bird of the title, the magpie Edmontonians know so well, with its huge nests built out … Continue reading

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Jennifer Still plays the silences

Jennifer Still. Comma. (BookThug 2017). As a sign of just how large & crowded the poetry scene, just in Canada, is, although she has published 2 previous books & been nominated for many awards, Comma is my first encounter with … Continue reading

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Stephen Cain raises his ante & his anti- in False Friends

Stephen Cain. False Friends. (BookThug 2017). In his first full length collection in over a decade, & playing off the multilingual opposition contained in his title, Stephen Cain offers hifalutin (& low) games, lots of play on & with various … Continue reading

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Firebreaks: John Kinsella’s eocpoetic homecoming.

John Kinsella. Firebreaks. (Norton 2016). The Australian writer, John Kinsella, has earned an international reputation as a poet both progressive & traditional, exploring innovative or more conventional forms, depending on what each book ends up being, ‘about’. Firebreaks, his latest, … Continue reading

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For Claire Kelly, maunder is an active verb

Claire Kelly. Maunder. (Palimpsest Press 2017). According to The Canadian Oxford Dictionary, ‘maunder’ refers to both speaking & walking, the former ‘in a dreamy or rambling manner,’ the latter ‘listlessly or idly.’ Well, the poems in Maunder, Clair Kelly’s first … Continue reading

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Sandra Ridley does the elegy as dark construction

Sandra Ridley. Silvija. (BookThug 2016). About midway through this volume of shorter serial poems making up a single longer one, we read: ‘Decide what to keep.’ In many ways this is the mandate of the whole book, a book the … Continue reading

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Kate Sutherland draws the reader in to a dark rhinoceros history

Kate Sutherland. How to Draw a Rhinoceros. (BookThug 2016). Kate Sutherland is a scholarly lawyer with a troubling sense of mission, almost obsession, concerning the now nearly extinct rhinoceros, & in How to Draw a Rhinoceros she has constructed a … Continue reading

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Adrienne Gruber’s craftily controlled buoyancy

Adrienne Gruber. Buoyancy Control. (BookThug 2016). That cover illustration, the octopus arms writhing, is more than a little suggestive of the fluid shifting about of concepts, motifs & motives inside this provocative assemblage. The concept of body (leading to mind) … Continue reading

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For the fathers: Erin Moure’s translation of François Turcot’s Mon dinosaure

François Turcot. My Dinosaur (Mon dinosaur). Trans. Erin Moure. (BookThug 2016). Following her postface, the title of which, ‘Si Moure traduit Turcot; A Book of Hours becomes a Book of Ours,’ begins to suggest the complications embedded in both the … Continue reading

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