Winnipeg Free Press marvels at Crabwise to the Hounds

By Maurice Mierau
Winnipeg Free Press
April 27 2009

Ontario writer Jeramy Dodds is one of those poets who suddenly emerges on the national scene, apparently out of nowhere.

Actually, he won the 2006 Bronwen Wallace Memorial Award and the 2007 CBC Literary Award in poetry, and his debut, Crabwise to the Hounds, was just shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Award.

Dodds is incapable of writing a dull line. He has a brilliant sense of sound, as here in 'Prosthetics': 'Cyclones of terns / turn atop prop-churned debris' and '...stunt men falling / through awning after awning.'

Then he also has a fey, nimble humour at work in pieces like 'The Official Translation of Ho Chi Minh's August 18th, 1966, Telephone Call' and 'Moorhen,' where 'A poem / is meant to replace what the olfactory erased.'

The Donald Barthelme epigraph for one of the poems seems perfectly apt for someone who is so alert to disrupting received ways of saying things, as in 'The mind is a terrible thing / to keep chaste. If you can't be drawn to my quarters, / do I part the sea and split?'

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