Arc’s Distributing Presents!

It’s a winter wonderland of poetry!

In the month of November, the first 25 poetry-lovers who subscribe to Arc will get an extra present with their purchase!* In addition to new issues of Canada’s favourite poetry m…

The Arc-Cordite Poetry Special Issue

Arc Poetry Magazine proudly presents a collaborative issue with Australia’s Cordite Poetry Review.
For one issue, the editorial board of Cordite has filled the pages of Arc with Australian poetry, prose and artwork, inc…

Arc’s Distributing Presents!

In the month of November, the first 25 poetry-lovers who subscribe to Arc will get an extra present with their purchase!*

In addition to new issues of Canada’s favourite poetry magazine—including our upcoming Austr…

Posts: Reviews »

Niki Koulouris. The Sea with no one in it

Addressing the Sea: Niki Koulouris’s The Sea with no one in it

Niki Koulouris. The Sea with no one in it. Erin, ON: The Porcupine’s Quill, 2014. ~Reviewed by E. Martin Nolan   Part One: Poems Without Much In Them These first twenty poems lack anchor. This might be the idea—to let the poems drift free—but, if so, it’s not working. “As for the sea / it has no number, no colour,” we’re told in no. 14 (the poems are all numbered, and are otherwise untitled). This suggests limitlessness, as does no. 3: Don’t mention the sea her great hide for she is perfect without a shield a torch an ending. The same goes for no. [...]
JonArno Lawson. Enjoy it While it Hurts

Oh, Humanity: JonArno Lawson’s Enjoy it While it Hurts

JonArno Lawson. Enjoy it While it Hurts. Hamilton: Wolsak & Wynn, 2013. ~Reviewed by Marilyn Irwin   JonArno Lawson’s newest and third book of poetry, Enjoy it While it Hurts, opens with words that function as epigraph, foreshadow, and guide: “An edifying miscellany of quarrelsome quips, holiday oddities, curious thoughts and apocalyptic melancholia.” Take heed. Lawson expertly employs various tongue twirls, rhythms, and rhyme schemes nostalgic of Mother Goose, Dr. Seuss, Aesop, and Buddha, all of which expertly gather and sustain unwavering momentum. The allegorical vignette-type, haiku-esque, anthropomorphic poems in this collection range from one-liners [...]
Jude Neale. A Quiet Coming of Light

The deepest of loves: Jude Neale’s A Quiet Coming of Light

Jude Neale. A Quiet Coming of Light: A Poetic Memoir. Lantzville, B.C.: Leaf Press, 2014. ~Reviewed by Norma Dunning   When I read, A Quiet Coming of Light, I found myself thinking that, if author Jude Neale loves you, she loves you with the deepest and purest of loves. Neale is a writer of love, whether it is for her parents or twin brother or her children who are blessed to have a mother who writes her adoration into her work. At the same time, Neale is not afraid to write of disappointment [...]

Book of Flames: Australian Love Poems 2013

Mark Tredinnick, editor. Australian Love Poems 2013. Carlton South, Australia: Inkerman & Blunt, 2014. ~Reviewed by Rona Shaffran   Australian Love Poems 2013, edited by acclaimed Australian poet Mark Tredinnick, is an anthology that will engage poetry readers who love (love) poetry. But, because it is poetry about love, many non-poetry readers are also more likely to pick it up, read it, hold it or buy it as a gift for others. Widening the readership, appeal and profile of Australian poetry through the expression of love was a key goal in publishing the book. It [...]
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 [...]
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