poetry review

Spacing revvs up with Expressway

Book review: Expressway
By Katherine McLeod
Spacing
August 25 2009

Two new books ... each use systems of mass transit — the subway and the expressway — to investigate the condition of contemporary life. Working both as metaphors and settings for the experiences the poems document, these transit routes become analogies for language — which also brings people from place to place, and from person to person.

[Review of Philip Quinn's The SubWay follows.]

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Hagiography wows Geist

By Leah Rae
Geist Magazine
July 1 2009

What I didn't find in The Echoing Years — some really 'wow' poems — I did find in a much slimmer book, Jen Currin's newest collection, Hagiography. Hagiography (the word literally means the biography of a saint or venerated person) starts with death and ends with life. Currin's verse is mysterious, full-blooded and packed with juicy lines. Here the world is populated with fortune stockings, blood dancers, bruised hats and paper brides.

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Herizons calls Lisa Robertson's Magenta Soul Whip 'completely virtuosic'

Poetry snapshot: Lisa Robertson's Magenta Soul Whip
By Mariianne Mays
Herizons
July 1 2009

Excerpted from the multiple book review:

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Prairie Fire praises Lisa Robertson's Magenta Soul Whip

By John Herbert Cunningham
Prairie Fire
July 3 2009

Lisa Robertson attended the Kootenay School of Writing in Vancouver, which probably accounts for the influence of language writing, particularly that of Lyn Hejinian and Leslie Scalapino, evident in her poetry. Hejinian has written that poetic tension arises as a result of the conflict between the line and the sentence. This is definitely the case with Robertson's writing. Scalapino has taught her to exploit the seams within the tapestry of life.

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U of Arizona Poetry Center applauds Lisa Robertson's Magenta Soul Whip

By
University of Arizona Poetry Center
June 1 2009

Lisa Robertson's Magenta Soul Whip is a cool customer. Many pleasing choices went into the book's design to make it so, from the eponymous title—at once underscoring and holding at arm's length the identity of the poet—to the non-magenta cover, which is chartreuse with a substantial, sanded feel. 'MY FIDELITY IS MY OWN DISASTER' is stamped in silver on the back: what a beginning, or end! The poems inside more than make good on the promise of the design.

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Arc is blessed by Hagiography

Book Review: Hagiography
By Harold Rhenisch
Arc Poetry Magazine
May 15 2009

A hagiography is typically a biography of a saint: Saint Elizabeth, for instance, who was sneaking out with bread to feed the poor; when caught, she said they were roses, and when the cover was torn off her basket, it was full of roses, instead of bread. That kind of miracle. Jen Currin's Hagiography is not about saints. There are no St. Patricks, Christophers, Ursulas or Bonifaces in these pages, neither in a tonsured group staring down from a cathedral ceiling nor even one of them alone with a hair shirt.

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Mansfield Revue hails 'landmark' Crabwise to the Hounds

By Jeff Latosik
Mansfield Revue
May 1 2009

Wallace Stevens famously quipped, 'A poem need not have a meaning and like most things in nature often does not have.' While such a sentiment may do little to win over those who desire a clear raison d'être for their poetry, Stevens' words do contain an elegant implication: a poem is a 'thing in nature' and, as such, is experienced as the world is experienced, with all its attenuating surfeit, mystery, strangeness and contradiction.

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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.

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Lisa Robertson's Magenta Soul Whip stands out for Quill & Quire

Lisa Robertson's Magenta Soul Whip by Lisa Robertson
By Zachariah Wells
Quill & Quire
May 1 2009

Ex-Vancouverite Lisa Roberston's eighth book is classified as poetry, but is no straightforward volume of lyrics. It also contains 'essays, confessions, reports, translations, drafts, treatises, laments and utopias' written between 1995 and 2007. Robertson's work occupies a liminal zone between poetry and philosophy. For her the poem is a place in which one thinks aloud: 'I said I didn't know what thinking is. / ... / I didn't understand. / I let myself go blank. // I began by taking everything that was doubtful and throwing it out, like sand.'

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Quill & Quire is thankful for Expressway

Expressway by Sina Queyras
By Mark Callanan
Quill & Quire
May 1 2009

In her first book of poems since her collection Lemon Hound, Montreal-based Sina Queyras employs the Romantic tradition of pastoral poetry to create passionate indictments of our consumerist, car-obsessed culture and our fast-lane mentality. In 'Solitary,' a woman stands near the I-95, where 'a patch / of emerald turf' is besieged by doggy bags,' the nearby expressway '[s]moothing each nuisance of wild, each terrifying / Quirk of land.'

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