The Winnipeg Free Press loves The Porcupinity of the Stars

By Ariel Gordon
The Winnipeg Free Press
October 23 2010

'Hamilton writer Gary Barwin's latest collection, The Porcupinity of the Stars (Coach House Books, 96 pages, $17), is firmly in the experimental tradition.

Even though Barwin has supplemented what he calls his "old-school English language technology" (i.e. writing) with poetry-generating software, it is important to note that this is not a dispassionate surrealism.

There's a real depth of feeling and a surprising lyricism in these poems, such as 'Inside H':

"we mist the sky with our blue plum lungs / make heaven heron-dark with our breathing / fog the limits with spirit and blue exhalation."

Those who enjoy playing connect-the-dots can follow this poem back to Vancouver's bpNichol, who grew up in the H section of Winnipeg's Wildwood Park.

Literary sleuthing aside, this is a collection for both the heart and the head. Highly recommended.'

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