Arc 74: It’s Awards Season!

Poem of the Year and Diana Brebner Prize winners. Look inside for Kristina Bresnen’s intricate crown of sonnets that pulled in the Poem of the Year’s $5000 1st prize!
Also featuring Matt Jones’ vivid war poem that…

Arc 73: Canada’s Up-and-At-You Poetry Magazine

Emerging talents, ones-to-watch, and debuts. You’ll find them all in Arc’s up-and-comers issue, now on newsstands.
In this latest issue of Arc Poetry Magazine, some of Canada’s most established poets—award-winners…

Arc Poetry Magazine launches ‘The North’

The North issue—the 72nd in Arc’s long history of publishing the best of Canadian poetry—focuses on writing coming out of Canada’s high latitudes.
Writers from Labrador, Yukon, Northern BC and other points north…

Posts: Reviews »

Tim Bowling’s Circa Nineteen Hundred and Grief

Dangled Bait: Tim Bowling’s Circa Nineteen Hundred and Grief

Tim Bowling. Circa Nineteen Hundred and Grief. Kentville, NS: Gaspereau Press, 2014. ~Reviewed by Jean Van Loon   The first poem sets the hook: This is for men and women of certain years, who, having left prints on the sand, remember the feeling of castles in their fingers (“Childhood”). This autobiographical collection brings to life a remembered childhood in the Fraser Delta—the river, salt tides, salmon, herons, fog, rain—and a family wresting a living from land and sea. The memories range from the innocence of the poet delivering newspapers like his dad, “bike tires whispering down long streets in the rain” [...]
E. D. Blodgett

Close to Spirit: E. D. Blodgett’s as if

E. D. Blodgett. as if. Edmonton: U of Alberta P, 2014. ~Reviewed by Harold Rhenisch   Blodgett’s latest book in his Apostrophes series is two books in one. Both are contemplations of wisdom and identity. The first is a book of poetry—words laid down in measure, printed on paper. Its words are made of artful language. Listen: how lightly over the earth through seed time and all harvest have the feet of those who cannot be known to us trodden in their dance Eliot did no better in The Four Quartets, which these dance steps echo. The second book is an energy field, conjured by [...]
Charlotte Rampling Reads Sylvia Plath to the music of Benjamin Britten

The Ghost Resurrected (Despite Some Fumbling): Charlotte Rampling Reads Sylvia Plath to the music of Benjamin Britten

Charlotte Rampling Reads Sylvia Plath to the music of Benjamin Britten. Danses Nocturnes. Place des Arts, Montréal. September 18, 2014. ~Reviewed by Cora Siré   On a recent Friday night, I took my seat in the small theatre of Place des Arts’ Cinquième Salle with more smug detachment than keen anticipation. Charlotte Rampling was about to read the poems of Sylvia Plath accompanied by cellist Sonia Wieder-Atherton playing Benjamin Britten. Never mind that the show, running for three nights as part of Montréal’s Festival international de la littérature, has successfully toured Europe including Spain, [...]
Adrienne Weiss’ There Are No Solid Gold Dancers Anymore

Fake Tornadoes: Adrienne Weiss’ There Are No Solid Gold Dancers Anymore

Adrienne Weiss. There Are No Solid Gold Dancers Anymore. Gibsons, BC: Nightwood Editions, 2014. ~ Reviewed by Kimmy Beach Though it is not her only interest, There Are No Solid Gold Dancers Anymore suggests that Adrienne Weiss is well on her way to joining the best pop culture writers CanPo has to offer: Jeanette Lynes, David McGimpsey and others who don’t care what they should be writing, but write what they love, what draws them. That’s the joy of writing pop culture, and the joy of reading it in its unbridled disregard for [...]

An Act of Prestidigitation: Ricardo Sternberg’s Some Dance

Ricardo Sternberg. Some Dance. Kingston, ON: McGill-Queen’s UP, 2014. ~Reviewed by Jim Johnstone Music has always been closely associated with poetry, and despite the move away from meter in the twentieth-century, it continues to inform those with a respect for the origins of the art. Whether it’s T.S. Eliot celebrating small moments where humankind is “music / while the music lasts,” or Philip Larkin tempering his ear writing as a jazz critic for the London Daily Telegraph, music is one of poetry’s first principles. Brazilian-born professor Ricardo Sternberg traffics in music too, though [...]
maceoin missed poetry

Tending Wounds: Fionncara MacEoin’s Not the First Thing I’ve Missed

Fionncara MacEoin. Not the First Thing I’ve Missed. Saskatoon, SK: Thistledown Press, 2014. ~ Reviewed by Emily Davidson Not the First Thing I’ve Missed, Saskatoon poet Fionncara MacEoin’s debut collection, anthologizes the break and swell of the everyday. The book indexes shortcomings, poverty, addiction, the transience of home, and the promising breadth of nature. Despite the book’s title, it is hard to imagine, with her spare, merciless, fearless verse, that MacEoin misses much of anything at all. The collection is gathered in three titled sections, each emitting its own distinct hiss. “all the babies [...]
richard greene dante house

Hard Looking: Richard Greene’s Dante’s House

Richard Greene. Dante’s House. Montreal: Véhicule Press, 2013. ~ Reviewed by Peter Richardson Dante’s House, Richard Greene’s follow up to Boxing the Compass, which won the 2010 Governor General’s Award, shows once again his fluency with blank verse narratives, rhyming couplets, and this time, an extended terza rima account of a summer teaching stint in Siena, Italy. His new book’s opening poems take the reader, for starters, to Tulsa, Oklahoma; post-earthquake Haiti; a Canadian prison; and Yankee Stadium. Greene has been at these catalogues of human experience for over twenty years, and [...]
Decolonial Love

Pain and Reassertion: Leanne Simpson’s Islands of Decolonial Love

Leanne Simpson. Islands of Decolonial Love: Stories and Songs. Winnipeg: ARP Books, 2013. ~Reviewed by Marilyn Dumont Leanne Simpson, Mississauga Nishnaabeg writer, editor, activist and scholar, is the author of two other story collections: Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back and The Gift is in the Making. Islands of Decolonial Love, like her other collections, situates story in the Nishnaabeg narrative tradition and worldview. Her narrators and characters negotiate complex contemporary settings in efforts to regain and repair relationships with one another and the natural world—relationships that are inherent to the Anishnabe worldview [...]
hagios press poetry laurie graham rove

Wrestling with Location: Laurie D. Graham’s Rove

Laurie D. Graham. Rove. Regina, SK: Hagios Press, 2013. ~Reviewed by Danielle Janess Working at the knot of settler guilt and regional identity, Laurie Graham explores the creation and maintenance of inherited and local memory in Rove, her book-length long poem debut. Swiftly moving, self-assured, plainspoken, loose, funny, and pressing in its occupations, this is a book you read cover to cover in one sitting. And then you read it again. It’s hard to believe this is a first book, so whole, so wholly realized, this persistent, generations-long tracking of a single [...]
deer yard cooper thurston

Calling Through the Cold: Allan Cooper and Harry Thurston’s The Deer Yard

Allan Cooper and Harry Thurston. The Deer Yard. Kentville, NS: Gaspereau Press, 2013. ~Reviewed by Phoebe Wang Given the immensity of Canada’s geography and the breadth of its poetic styles, it’s surprising that poetic correspondences, such as the one between Allan Cooper and Harry Thurston, don’t occur more frequently. The Deer Yard is a verse exchange that invokes the Wang River Sequence between 8th c. Chinese poets Wang Wei and his friend P’ei Ti. In each of the 20 poems, one poet provides the opening quatrain, while the other responds to an [...]
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