Poetry

1433 Social media update

Social media update by Richard Mackie * As most of you will  know, we changed our name to The British Columbia Review from The Ormsby Review less than two months ago, on February 10th, and since then we’ve never been busier:  we’ve posted 52 book reviews, two essays, one photo essay, and one docuseries review….
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1422 Essays and bootless poetry

Artful Flight by Susan Glickman Erin, Ontario: Porcupine’s Quill, 2022 $24.95 / 9780889848795 Reviewed by Gary Geddes * I’ve been poring over Susan Glickman’s Artful Flight, a series of essays and reviews, with delight and a certain sadness, delight at her intelligence and close attention to the craft and contributions of a wide range of…
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1410 Breaking, haunting, mending

All the Broken Things by Geoff Inverarity Vancouver: Anvil Press, 2021 $18.00 / 9781772141757 Reviewed by Candace Fertile * A sense of playfulness is immediately established in Geoff Inverarity’s debut poetry collection with an Author’s Preface in the form of a letter to his publisher in which he includes diary entries. The time is June…
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1407 Soft bells of beauty and blue

blue gait by Shauna Paull Salt Spring Island: Mother Tongue Publishing, 2021 $19.95 / 9781896949888 Reviewed by Yvonne Blomer * Another word for gait is stride or way of walking, and Shauna Paull’s new poetry collection blue gait parallels the ways of walking through and on the land, with the natural world, beauty, women, and…
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1402 Lovers, friends, family

Duct-taped Roses by Billeh Nickerson Toronto: Book*hug Press, 2021 $20.00 / 9781771666909 Reviewed by Grace Lau * Lovers, friends, family: We are all we have Duct-taped Roses, Billeh Nickerson’s sixth book (note to self: must read the other five) is divided into five parts, each one a vivid meditation on a theme in his life….
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1400 There is always laughter

I Will Be Corrupted by Joseph A. Dandurand Montréal: Guernica Editions, 2020 $20.00 / 9781771835060 * The East Side of It All by Joseph Dandurand Gibsons: Nightwood Editions, 2020 $18.95 / 9780889713802 Both books reviewed by Paul Falardeau * Joseph Dandurand has been busy lately. Since the Covid pandemic began, he has written three books…
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1398 Who let the furies out?

Iron Goddess of Mercy by Larissa Lai Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2021 $19.95 / 9781551528441 Reviewed by Michael Turner * There is celebration at the gates of Larissa Lai’s recent poetry book, Iron Goddess of Mercy. On the back flap, Fred Wah comps on the book’s multiple epistolary addresses (“Dear Reader, Dear Deer in the…
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1382 Humour, nostalgia, and pathos

Black Bears in the Carrot Field by Linda K. Thompson Salt Spring Island: Mother Tongue Publishing, 2021 $19.95  /  9781896949840 Reviewed by Wendy Donawa  * Pygmy owls, rusted-out Fords, and thimble babies that never quite took: humour, nostalgia, and pathos in Black Bears in the Carrot Field Linda K. Thompson handles her poems’ pitch-perfect narrative…
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1376 The new British Columbia Review

The new British Columbia Review by Richard Mackie * As of today, February 10th 2022, The Ormsby Review will be known as The British Columbia Review. This change comes with the strong endorsement of the two Boards that have guided The Ormsby Review through the last several years. Named after Margaret Anchoretta Ormsby (1909-1996), a…
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1373 The ventriloquist speaks

The Ventriloquist: Poems from the Womb of War by Gary Geddes Oakville, ON: Rock’s Mills Press, 2022 $22.00 / 9781772442403 Reviewed by Art (Sean Arthur) Joyce * The Ventriloquist Speaks: Making Meaning as an Act of Cultural Defiance In this post-everything era, for a writer to seek meaning is practically a revolutionary act. Poet Gary…
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1371 Winter in Gastown

Pebble Swing by Isabella Wang Gibsons: Nightwood Editions, 2021 $18.95 / 9780889714069 Reviewed by Grace Lau * The dedication at the beginning of Pebble Swing contains a quote about love, and with every re-read, I still marvel at how love spills so generously from the pages. To be clear, the vessels are sometimes pain and…
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1366 More than an essay on Canada

Imagined Truths: Myths from a Draft-Dodging Poet by Richard Lemm New Westminster: Tidewater Press, 2021 $21.95 / 9781990160066 Reviewed by Heidi Greco * Puzzled. That’s the feeling I occasionally had while reading this far-reaching memoir. It’s far-reaching not only in the years it covers — from the 1950s to today — but also in the…
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1354 Vancouver avant-garde poets

Finding Nothing: The Vangardes, 1959-1975 by Gregory Betts Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2021 $85.00 / 9781487505318 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Vancouver Poetry Rocked in the 1960s. An Already Lively Poetry Scene Got a Jolt With the Arrival of the Americans I’m a poetry fan. Whitman, Neruda, Frost, Akhmatova, Shakespeare, Atwood. Yes, Margaret Atwood…
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1347 Pandemic poets: year one

Best Canadian Poetry 2021 by Souvankham Thammavongsa (editor; series editor Anita Lahey) Windsor, ON: Biblioasis, 2021 $22.95 / 9781771964395 Reviewed by Heidi Greco * Year-end lists often have a way of dragging themselves into the new year. Witness the slowest of all these accolades, the Academy Awards, with their Oscars for best films. They’re not…
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1342 A wild and enclosed garden

Bramah and the Beggar Boy by Renée Sarojini Saklikar Gibsons: Nightwood Editions (blewointment), 2021 $26.95 / 9780889714021 Reviewed by John Lent * Renée Sarojini Saklikar’s Bramah and the Beggar Boy is a stunning achievement, a magnificent piece of writing. Like Ursula K. Leguin’s EarthSea Trilogy or Haruki Murakami’s The Wind Up Bird Chronicle, or John…
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1335 Interview with Russell Thornton

INTERVIEW: Russell Thornton with The Ormsby Review In “Greek Fire,” one of the poems in Russell Thornton’s astonishing new collection, the central image is of fire burning through water: “water is a bridge / for a fire to come into the world.” This image also illuminates the driving force that animates the poems in Answer to Blue…
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1325 Home, yoga, dementia

Open Every Window: A Memoir by Jane Munro Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2021 $28.95 / 9781771622967 Reviewed by Candace Fertile * The positive image of opening windows infuses Jane Munro’s memoir even when life is fraught with what seems like insurmountable challenges. From an early age, it’s clear that Munro wanted to write, and…
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1315 Sonnets & tantalizing snapshots

Lost Family: A Memoir by John Barton Montréal: Véhicule Press (Signal Editions), 2020 $17.95 / 9781550655551 Reviewed by Christopher Levenson * Whatever one’s final judgment on John Barton’s latest book — and mine is overwhelmingly positive — one thing is clear: it raises a number of important critical issues. Is the medium of poetry suitable for something that…
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