Poetry

1741 Susan/Elizabeth: a love poem

Susan/Elizabeth — a love poem by Kitty Blandy * I smell you before you arrive Leather and grass and skin Where have you been today? Friend, companion, confidante. I’m following. We joined at the beginning Before the beginning – Or maybe it was just at the end. You took me from singular to plural.[1] From…
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1731 Secrets spared and shared

Don’t Tell: Family Secrets by Donna McCart Sharkey and Arleen Paré, editors Bradford, ON: Demeter Press, 2023 $44.95 / 9781772584240 Reviewed by Mary Ann Moore * Sisters Donna McCart Sharkey and Arleen Paré have gathered contributions of essays and poetry from sixty-one writers for Don’t Tell: Family Secrets. McCart Sharkey who grew up in Montreal…
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1725 The fundraiser continues

A note from Richard Mackie Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Readers of The British Columbia Review: In the last few days we have resumed the fundraiser we started on December  12, 2022, which we put aside while we posted 43 reviews for the Christmas book-buying rush. Thank you, everyone, for your donations and your continued support,…
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1718 The rhetoric of Imitation Crab

Imitation Crab by Hamish Ballantyne Toronto: Knife/Fork/Book, 2020 $15.00  /  9781989355268 Reviewed by Terry Trowbridge * Rhetoric in Hamish Ballantyne’s Imitation Crab and Future Literacy in Canadian Publics In the Autumn of 2022, Toronto publisher Knife/Fork/Book restructured their operations. They closed their street-level bricks-and-mortar retail store, opting for online sales and to focus more energy…
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1712 Liberating the ordinary

The Oysters I Bring to Banquets by Gary Geddes Montreal: Guernica Editions, 2022 $22.00 /   9781771837101 Reviewed by Doug Beardsley * Opening Gary Geddes’ new book of poems, The Oysters I Bring to Banquets, I am reminded of something Irving Layton said some thirty years ago, when he intuitively discussed the essential characteristics of the…
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1693 A poet’s light touch

Blue Communion by Sean Arthur Joyce Victoria: Ekstasis Editions, 2023 $23.95 / 9781771714884 Reviewed by Gary Geddes * In “Words on the Wing,” Sean Arthur Joyce elegantly poses the question many poets face when they decide to sit down to write something: “How light must my touch be / not to snap bone, lose an…
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1691 Poppies and sandstone

Garden of Words by Pnina Granirer Vancouver: Granville Island Publishing, 2022 $24.95 / 9781989467640 Reviewed by Diana Hayes * Pnina Granirer is an internationally respected artist and writer, living in Vancouver. Born in Romania in 1935, she later moved with her family to Israel where she studied at the Bezalel Art Academy in Jerusalem. She…
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1688 The Ramen

The Ramen by Sheldon Goldfarb * Editor’s note: as a Holiday and post-Christmas answer to that leftover turkey or that ham, lamb, or duck roast, we present Sheldon Goldfarb’s solution — The Ramen! Sheldon adds that the poem was inspired by the cartoon below, courtesy Janet Rudolph’s Mystery Fanfare — Richard Mackie * Once upon…
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1666 A gesture to Fletcher

Of Sunken Islands and Pestilence: Restoring the Voice of Edward Taylor Fletcher to Nineteenth-Century Canadian Literature by James Gifford (editor) Athabasca, Alberta: Athabasca University Press, 2022. $34.99 / 9781771993449 Reviewed by Sheldon Goldfarb * Here’s a forgotten Canadian poet. Edward Taylor Fletcher. Also a surveyor, an immigrant from England, a cholera survivor, and a onetime volunteer…
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1661 Poets for the planet

Worth More Growing: Youth Poets Pay Homage to Trees by Christine Lowther (editor) Qualicum Beach: Caitlin Press, 2022 $22.00 /  9781773860978 Reviewed by Heidi Greco * In the spring of 2022 Caitlin Press released their amazing themed anthology, Worth More Standing: Poets and Activists Pay Homage to Trees. Edited by Christine Lowther, that book was…
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1645 Ferlinghetti of the Shuswap

Facing the Sweating Horse by Calvin White Surrey: Now or Never Publishing, 2022 $19.95 / 9781989689424 Reviewed by Harold Rhenisch * Houses have views. They face them. Some face the street outside, or a garden, a fence, a city, a lake, a river or mountains. Some face fields and grasslands. Some face the sea. The…
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1641 The wisdom of trees

The Tree Whisperer: Writing Poetry by Living in the World by Harold Rhenisch Kentville, NS: Gaspereau Press, 2021 $29.95 / 9781554472314 Reviewed by Adrienne Fitzpatrick * I have spent the last few weeks in the company of a tree whisperer going from tree to tree on Sylix lands, absorbing the fruits revealed by light and…
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1633 Snapshots from the shadows

Dressed in Only a Cardigan, She Picks up Her Tracks in the Snow by Cornelia Hoogland London, ON: baseline press, 2021 $13.50  /  9781928066606 Reviewed by Daniela Elza * The very act of opening this carefully crafted artefact of a chapbook from baseline press is already an experience of immersion, a tease, a please, of…
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1626 The justice imagination

Heart Work by Susan McCaslin Victoria: Ekstasis Editions, 2021 $24.95 / 9781771714020 Reviewed by gillian harding-russell * In Heart Work, Susan McCaslin embraces a way of seeing that centres on the heart, both as an image and an idea, and as it shapes consciousness. Just as the cover artist, Betty Spackman, divides her art installation…
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1622 Out of memory’s  pocket

Here at the Crux by Leanne Boschman New Westminster: Silver Bow Publishing, 2022 $23.95 / 9781774032312 Reviewed by Christopher Levenson * Though only her second book of poetry, Boschman’s work is by now well known, especially in BC, and deservedly so. The persona that emerges from these poems is an attractive one, low-key, and without…
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1619 The thing about snow

You Might Be Sorry You Read This by Michelle Poirier Brown Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2022 $19.99 / 9781772126037 Reviewed by Mary Ann Moore * In many cases, the titles for books of poetry come from the poems themselves, whether a title of one or a line from within one. In Michelle Poirier Brown’s…
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1615 Laying down a trickster beat

Bent Back Tongue by Garry Gottfriedson Qualicum Beach: Caitlin Press, 2022 20.00  /  9781773860961 Reviewed by Harold Rhenisch * Garry Gottfriedson is a Secwépemc rancher and teacher. He got started in poetry by performing at pow-wows many decades ago. In Bent Back Tongue, he moves in a space that is anger and love joined in…
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1612 Bigger than adolescence

When We Are Broken: The Lake Elegy by Luanne Armstrong New Denver: Maa Press, 2020 $30.00 / 9780987838414 Reviewed by Diana Hayes * Luanne Armstrong, a prolific writer who has published twenty-five books of fiction, memoir, and poetry, has crafted a soulful and meditative narrative in her book, When We Are Broken – The Lake…
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1603 Writing to shape one’s future

Standing in a River of Time by Jónína Kirton Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2022 $19.95 / 9781772013795 Reviewed by Cathy Ford * If, when you begin reading, and then rereading, a book by this author, soon after the second anniversary of National Truth and Reconciliation Day in Canada, perhaps you should know already your life will change….
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