Poetry

#505 Ethel Wilson would approve

A Lamb by P.W. Bridgman Victoria: Ekstasis Editions, 2018 $23.95 / 9781771712736 Reviewed by David Stouck * I first encountered P.W. Bridgman (a pen name) when he reviewed a collection of Ethel Wilson’s letters for the Globe and Mail. Ethel Wilson would certainly have delighted in A Lamb, his newly published book of poetry. Herein…
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#504 Joe Rosenblatt (1933-2019)

Joe Rosenblatt (1933-2019) An obituary by Alan Twigg * “Joe was one of the most generous and kind artists [of any genre] I ever met, a truly lovely person, and a real genius.” — Phyllis Reeve “Poetry provides an environment for people to share their feral fantasies, although very rarely do wild phantasms morph into…
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#498 Poems of faith and simplicity

Exposed by Eileen Curteis Terrace: CCB Publishing, 2018 $44.06 (via Amazon) / 9781771433594 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * A poem named “Simplicity” begins: “There’s nothing complex/ about the rain.” I ponder the significance of that statement, which seems to me debatable. Then a personality named Simplicity enters the poem to tell us the “soft drizzle”…
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#485 Honouring everyday anxieties

Practical Anxiety by Heidi Greco Toronto: Inanna Publications, 2018 $18.95 / 9781771335812 Reviewed by Andrew Parkin First published Feb. 13, 2019 * Heidi Greco is known already from her previous books of poetry, notably those about Amelia Earhart, A: The Amelia Poems (Lipstick Press, 2009) and Flightpaths (Caitlin, 2017). I enjoyed her live reading from…
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#484 A life in books: George Bowering

He Speaks Volumes: A Biography of George Bowering by Rebecca Wigod Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2018 $24.95 / 9781772012064 Reviewed by Kathy Mezei First published Feb. 12, 2019 * What a great title. For George Bowering does speak volumes; he is out-spoken, loud, witty, loquacious, a “talk producer” as Virginia Woolf once described a character. And, as…
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#464 A turbulent, alluring place

The Splendour & The Suffering/El Esplendor y el Sufrimiento: Poems and Travels in Mexico by Doug Beardsley, translated by Celso Cambiazo Victoria: Island Blue Book Printing, Arcos Spanish Translations, 2018. Available from Amazon.ca $19.95  / 9781999442200 Reviewed by Ron Dart First published Jan. 13, 2019 * A turbulent yet alluring place, Mexico has a long…
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#441 Small journeys, big change

The Small Way by Onjana Yawnghwe Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2018 $18.00 / 9781987915778 Reviewed by Renée Saklikar First published December 6, 2018 * We were speaking then of necessary journeys, of the way the reading of a book might become a crossing-over into other people’s territory, for instance into those migrations that are within…
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#439 Kissing through a handkerchief

Duets: Sonnets of Louise Labé and Guido Cavalcanti by Edward Byrne Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2018 $16.95  /  9781772011999 Reviewed by Andrew Parkin * Canadian poet Edward Byrne’s book is described as “a translation” of sonnets of Louise Labé (1522-1566) and Guido Cavalcanti (circa 1255-1300). The poems published in this book are not sonnets in terms of the…
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#430 Looking back at the GGs

The Governor General’s Literary Awards of Canada: A Bibliography by Andrew David Irvine with the assistance of Edmond Rivère and Stephanie Tolman Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 2018 $79.95  /  9780776627397 Les Prix littéraires du Gouverneur général du Canada: Une bibliographie by Andrew David Irvine, with the assistance of Edmond Rivère and Stephanie Tolman Ottawa:…
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#423 Landslip and delta

Nicholas Bradley reviews two books: Intertidal: The Collected Earlier Poems, 1968–2008 by Daphne Marlatt, edited by Susan Holbrook Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2017 $49.95 / 9781772011784 * Scree: The Collected Earlier Poems, 1962–1991 by Fred Wah, edited by Jeff Derksen Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2015 $49.95 / 9780889229471 First published Nov. 14, 2018 * * Landslip and Delta: A…
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#404 A tumble with George

Some End / West Broadway by George Bowering and George Stanley Vancouver: New Star Books, 2018 $18.00 / 9781554201457 Reviewed by Danny Peart First published October 21st, 2018 * Two of BC’s senior poets, George Stanley (born 1934) and George Bowering (born 1935) contribute opposite halves to a flip or tumble book from New Star…
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Quills Poetry Magazine

Quills is published by William Byron Sheardown of Vancouver, British Columbia. Byron is a printer and has been publishing magazines since the age of 18. Quills Magazine comes from Byron’s deep love of poetry and his desire to create a national literary vehicle for which poets from all parts of Canada can unite to experience…
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#379 Zieroth’s Prairie childhood

The Bridge from Day to Night by David Zieroth Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2018 $18.95 / 9781550178357 Reviewed by Christopher Levenson First published Sept. 20, 2018 * Born in 1946, North Vancouver’s David Dale Zieroth grew up on his parents’ farm at Neepawa, Manitoba, an upbringing that has provided ample fodder for his career as…
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#370 We were songen and rejoicing

songen: new poems by Patrick Friesen Salt Spring Island: Mother Tongue Publishing, 2018 $19.95  9781896949642 Reviewed by Danny Peart First published September 10th, 2018 * Victoria poet Patrick Friesen (born 1946 in Steinbach, Manitoba) also works with dancers, choreographers, and composers, and writes songs for musicians. Reviewer Danny Peart calls his latest book, songen, “the work…
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#365 The texture of daily living

First published Sept. 4, 2018. Narrow Bridge by Barbara Pelman Vancouver: Ronsdale Press 2017 $15.95 / 9781553805083 Reviewed by Christopher Levenson * New from Victoria poet is Narrow Bridge, a collection that Christopher Levenson finds “humane, honest, well-crafted, and keenly aware of the outside world.” Pelman takes the reader on a walkabout to Italy, Portugal, Sweden, and…
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#358 Ukrainian soil and blood

Our Familiar Hunger by Laisha Rosnau Gibsons: Nightwood Editions, 2018 $18.95 / 9780889713444 First published August 29, 2018 Reviewed by Elee Kraljii Gardiner * In Our Familiar Hunger, Laisha Rosnau of Vernon honours her Ukrainian grandmothers on their traumatic journey between Russia and the Canadian West. “Rosnau’s narrative is sewn tightly into these verses with…
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#349 A carpenter poet adept at forms

Elemental by Kate Braid Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2018 $18.00  /  9781987915631 Reviewed by Christopher Levenson First published Aug. 23, 2018 * Despite the book’s title and its division into five elements — water, fire, wood, sky, and earth — the dominant feature of Elemental, Kate Braid’s seventh book of poetry, is less unity of…
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#346 Called to the poethood

Another Mountain to Climb by Danny Peart Vancouver: Milagro Press, 2017 $25.00 / 9780994932914 Reviewed by Isabella Wang First published Aug. 20, 2018 * Danny Peart’s third book of poetry, Another Mountain To Climb, is an open window into Peart’s exhilarating excursions up the peaks of Grouse Mountain and Kilimanjaro. One simply has to open…
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