Poetry

1533 On the edge of memoir

Blue Portugal and Other Essays by Theresa Kishkan Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2022 $24.99 / 9781772125993 Reviewed by Michael Hayward * For forty-some-odd years, Theresa Kishkan and her husband, poet John Pass, have been living in a home that they built themselves early in their marriage, on a piece of land half-way up BC’s…
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Notes from a year in Delhi

New Delhi & Lahiri & Strang & Carson by Thomas K. Girard * Ghandi Airport Night was day when I arrived in Delhi, at Ghandi. I packed safely, but quickly found my water bottle missing as I pushed through the crowd and approached a Delhi walla. My eyes adjusted. I tried to get a read…
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1520 To move as the kelp moves

Intertidal: Poems from the Littoral Zone by Zoe Dickinson Salt Spring Island: Raven Chapbooks, 2022 $20.00 / 9780973440898 Reviewed by Brian Day * Zoe Dickinson’s Intertidal, the winner of this year’s Raven Chapbooks Poetry Contest, speaks from the verges of the Juan de Fuca Strait. The voice of these poems patiently and reverently attends to…
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1517 A lover’s grimoire

A Lover’s Grimoire by Linda Quibell Grimoire: a book of magic devised to invoke supernatural entities such as angels, deities or demons * The Plague The first year of the plague we knew nothing being neither doctors nor priests nor midwives we did not know that eyes were infectious that mouths were a vector and…
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On Broughton and Davie

On Broughton and Davie: The Burying and Recovering of Cultural Identity by Bahar Sadeghieh * I. Backstory Beloved friends, cherished family Their before then pictures Carefree and weightless In flesh fast forward A rare sighting Now the rooms, they gathered Exude sorrow Harrowing moments In the rearview mirror Closer than they appear Never approached, nor…
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1493 Holding fast

Bog Treasure by Eileen Casey and Jeanne Cannizzo Dublin: Arlen House, 2022, distributed by Syracuse University Press $19.95 / 9781851322695 Reviewed by Jane Frankish * Editor’s note: readers might also like to hear Eileen Casey read a selection of her bog poems in Treasure, a short film commissioned by Offaly Arts for Culture Night, 2021,…
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1487 The uncomfortable in-between

Afterlight: In Search of Poetry, History, and Home by Isa Milman Victoria: Heritage House, 2021 $24.95 / 9781772033830 Reviewed by Christopher Levenson * What do we expect of a memoir? Henry James famously referred to the novel as “a great baggy monster,” but the memoir, unconstrained by the exigencies of plot and character development, can…
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1478 Coastal flux and depth

A Killing at Easter Hill: A Season of Fragments by Alex Rose Vancouver: Walhachin Press, 2021 $16.00 / 9781777582319 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski  A Killing at Easter Hill is available for sale at People’s Co-Op Bookstore on Commercial Drive, Vancouver * One of the advantages of a novel over a book of poems and other…
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1475 Translating from the Dutch

Speaking in Tongues: Selected Poems by H.C. (Hans) ten Berge, translated by Pleuke Boyce with an Afterword by Breyten Breytenbach Victoria: Ekstasis Editions, 2021 $24.95 / 9781771714167 Reviewed by Christopher Levenson * Preconceptions are comforting: most Anglophone readers probably still think of the Netherlands’ cultural contribution solely in terms of the visual arts and maybe…
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1474 Kinds of birth

The Quiet in Me by Patrick Lane, edited by Lorna Crozier Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2021 $18.95 / 9781550179811 Reviewed by gillian harding-russell * In The Quiet In Me, Patrick Lane writes from the perspective of old age with its inward vision of the paradoxes inherent in first and last events: of death in birth…
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1470 Piecework and peace work

Mother, the Verb, Swan Sister Treasure Book by Linda Rogers and Friends Victoria: FriesenPress, 2022 $25.00 / 9781039124530 Reviewed Cathy Ford * Upon a time (note dear reader, not “once”), there arrived a beautifully dense green book on my desk. For me, it arrived just in time. As said more often than anyone ever wanted…
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1461 Denman Island calling

The Denman Island Readers & Writers Festival is back — and it will be good by Howard Macdonald Stewart * The Denman Island Readers & Writers Festival is on again this year from July 15-17, with related events beginning July 11. Festival organisers improvised in 2020 and 2021 but now it’s back to our traditional…
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1443 How to live in history

The Last Show on Earth by Yvonne Blomer Qualicum Beach: Caitlin Press, 2022 $20.00 / 139781773860770 Reviewed by gillian harding-russell * Against a backdrop of an environmental crisis, Yvonne Blomer in The Last Show on Earth writes poems that let us listen in on personal sorrow inseparable from love for a son with his unique…
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1442 a carriage that were green

I Want to Tell You Love: A Critical Edition by Milton Acorn and bill bissett, edited by Eric Schmaltz and Christopher Doody Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2021 $29.99 / 9781773852294 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * Early in the 1960s, that fabled age, two poets from the Maritimes encountered each other in Vancouver and planned…
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