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…

Arc 71: The Big Reveal

The winners of Arc’s Poem of the Year Contest, including your Readers’ Choice!
The winner of this year’s Diana Brebner prize!
Poems by Tammy Armstrong, Dani Couture, Garry Thomas Morse, John Reibetanz, Peter R…

Arc 70: Canada’s Cracking, Shearing Poetry Magazine

Rob Winger is rounding first; Erin Moure makes the case for translation; Poems from Nicole Brossard, Jan Conn and David Seymour
Read an excerpt.

Posts: Reviews »

brick poetry Anna Shin The Family China poetry

Picking Up the Pieces: Ann Shin’s The Family China

Ann Shin. The Family China. London, Ontario: Brick Books, 2013. ~Reviewed by Phoebe Wang One can detect from the opening pages of The Family China that its author, Ann Shin, has a sense of craft that diverges from poetic conventions. The five long poems that comprise the book are crowded with drama, as well as with the silent scenes often omitted from the frame. That Shin is also a filmmaker is evident in the book’s cinematic quality. Shin’s eye pans over the decades, zooming in on details such as her mother’s breath [...]
elizabeth bachinsky hottest summer poetry

How Could You Not Like Me?: Elizabeth Bachinsky’s The Hottest Summer in Recorded History

Elizabeth Bachinsky. The Hottest Summer in Recorded History. Gibsons, BC: Nightwood Editions, 2013. ~Reviewed by Jennifer Delisle “To dislike this poem, to dislike me,” begins one of the poems in Elizabeth Bachinsky’s The Hottest Summer in Recorded History. The line is both a continuation of the title, “Somewhere there is Someone Waiting,” and a statement that stands on its own, asserting that the poem and its speaker are equivalent, and playfully challenging the reader to dislike them. From here the poem rushes forward in a stream of consciousness, listing possible reasons why [...]
Julia Severson-Baker poetry

The Dancing Body: Juleta Severson-Baker’s Incarnate

Juleta Severson-Baker. Incarnate. Calgary, AB: Frontenac House, 2013. ~Reviewed by Harold Rhenisch To be incarnate is to have a body, especially a human body. It is also to have a spirit that is made comprehensible through the gift of form. Severson-Baker is most definitely incarnate in both these senses in such poems as “Of.” In it, she writes “the opening of the orgasm was black.” This black female space soon becomes “the black of being born” and “a coming as if to love when love was new.” It’s like the Garden of [...]
Poet Amanda Jernigan Cormorant Books All the Daylight Hours

Sundry Labours and Rose Windows: Amanda Jernigan’s All the Daylight Hours

Amanda Jernigan. All the Daylight Hours. Markham, ON: Cormorant Books, 2013. ~Reviewed by Jenny Haysom Amanda Jernigan’s second collection of poetry, All the Daylight Hours, “took shape over the course of twelve years” and reads as something of a miscellany, especially when contrasted with her debut, Groundwork (Biblioasis, 2011). One supposes that these books emerged concurrently, and that the poet channeled her output accordingly; in Groundwork, she organized poems around three distinct themes, and in All the Daylight Hours, she gathered what was left––her sundry, daily labours. That said, All the Daylight [...]
kanina dawson masham means evening poetry

Necessary Voices: Kanina Dawson’s Masham Means Evening

Kanina Dawson. Masham Means Evening. Regina: Coteau Books, 2013. ~Reviewed by Christopher Doda Masham Means Evening is unique among poetry books published in Canada this year, not because Kanina Dawson’s style is especially engrossing but because she documents her time in the Canadian forces during her tour of Afghanistan. Structured chronologically, from her landing in Kabul to her return to civilian life, this poetic diary largely deals with her resistance to psychic numbing in the face of unrelenting horror. Early pieces showcase how violence has been entrenched in Afghan society for so [...]
karasik hungry

An Emerging Connoisseur: Daniel Karasik’s Hungry

Daniel Karasik. Hungry. Toronto: Cormorant Books, 2013. ~Reviewed by Emily Davidson In his debut collection of poetry, Toronto playwright Daniel Karasik lays out an ambitious spread. Hungry is a feast – a table piled high with sushi restaurants and greyhound buses, locker rooms and microscopes. Karasik investigates aging and impermanence, his attention skipping ahead with the frenzied focus of the emerging connoisseur. Held up by a framework of traditional forms freshly spun, Hungry grapples with the gnawing absence in the middle of abundance. The work holds at its core a staunch anxiety. [...]
daniela elza milk tooth bane bone poetry

Gaps and Gravity: Daniela Elza’s milk tooth bane bone

Daniela Elza. milk tooth bane bone. Lantzville, BC: Leaf Press, 2013. ~Reviewed by Al Rempel Daniela Elza finds voice in both the gaps and the gravity of language in her second book, milk tooth bane bone, an interconnected series of poems that begins with this startling image: The four titular nouns typify what I mean by gravity and gaps. Elza places these words side by side as effortlessly as setting four small stones in a row on the beach, yet they carry the weight of four silent moons around a planet, bodies that [...]
Talonbooks Jordan Abel the Place of Scrabs poetry

Weight, Rise and Riffle: Jordan Abel’s Exuberant Excisions in The Place of Scraps

Jordan Abel. The Place of Scraps. Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2013. ~ A Response to Jordan Abel’s The Place of Scraps by Margaret Christakos It is easy to scrap the effort it takes to speak about the intensely complicated ethics of museum culture. Every object in a museum “comes” from a source place; most often the objects have been taken, and their home cultural context has been subsequently imperilled. The artifact accession process, subsumed in hyperattentive procedures of classification and conservation, is equally and ongoingly evidence of the subjugating relations of cultural dispossession. At the [...]
poetry book tostevin singed wings

Slow Down and Listen: Lola Lemire Tostevin’s Singed Wings

Lola Lemire Tostevin. Singed Wings. Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2013 ~Reviewed by rob mclennan Given that nearly a decade has passed since the appearance of her previous trade poetry collection, Site-Specific Poems (2004), there is much to celebrate for the fact that Toronto writer Lola Lemire Tostevin has released Singed Wings. Not that she was idle during that period—much of the past decade and a half of Tostevin’s writing career has equally focused on fiction, with the publication of her most recent novels being The Jasmine Man (2001) and The other sister (2008). For [...]
poetry jean-luc godard stephen scobie at the limit of breath

here is cinema/here is cinema*: Stephen Scobie’s At the limit of breath: Poems on the films of Jean-Luc Godard

Stephen Scobie. At the limit of breath: Poems on the films of Jean-Luc Godard. Edmonton: U of Alberta P, 2013. ~Reviewed by Kimmy Beach Stephen Scobie’s newest collection is a chronological, poetic study of the films of French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard. And like the work of the man about whom Scobie writes, the book is pleasingly esoteric and sharply focussed. Claustrophobia is a feature of Godard’s films, in which there is often an extended scene within a tight, domestic sphere. Even when the setting encompasses many rooms, the tension between the two people in the [...]
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