Publishers Weekly reviews The Alphabet Game

By Publishers Weekly
Publishers Weekly
August 30 8000

This beautifully produced volume fills a large gap in 20th century North American poetry, selecting from the great long works of a master of profound whimsy, and also including arresting examples from his nearly impossible to find early works in concrete poetry. In addition to completing the six volume Martyrology before his untimely death, Nichol (1944 - 1988), who was born in Vancouver, wrote for the muppet-based children's show Fraggle Rock, and was a part of the seminal poetry performance troupe The Four Horsemen, which also included Steve McCaffery. Editors Wershler-Henry and Emerson admittedly offer only a 'fraction' of Nichol's output, much of which consists of linked long poems in unconventional forms. But their selection is unfailingly intelligent and engaging, with an emphasis on Nichol's ingenious visual play with words and images, making this the single best introduction to an essential writer. (May)

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