Arc Poetry Magazine’s Spoken Word Issue

Arc’s new special issue features work from spoken word artists and critical essays on the craft of spoken word.
Curated by Tanya Evanson—Montreal-based poet, performer, and director of the Spoken Word program at The…

Arc 77 – Canada’s Simple Alternatives Poetry Magazine

 Kevin Shaw’s “Turing’s Time Machine” takes 1st prize in the Poem Of The Year contest.
Amber Homeniuk earned the Readers’ Choice with her poem “by the time he hit the floor,” and Sneha Madhavan-Reese’s…

Arc 76: Canada’s Squirming Creature Poetry Magazine

In this issue of Arc Poetry Magazine, a year of Sylvia Legris’ mentorships as Arc’s Poet-In-Residence comes to an end.

With new work from Legris and four exceptional poets fostered by Legris’ mentorship, the Po…

Posts: Reviews »

Gillian Wigmore. Orient

Fishing, Small-town Drunks and other poems: Gillian Wigmore’s Orient

Gillian Wigmore. Orient. London, ON: Brick Books, 2014. ~Reviewed by Marilyn Irwin   Wigmore begins her newest collection with a serial poem entitled “Skyward from the Self” which immediately thrusts the reader beside the narrator in the bow of her boat, revealing her penchant for meticulously placed devices such as alliteration and assonance in lines like “the flash of water flung skyward” and “the boat seats so cold our bums were numb.” Orient is complimentary to her previous “eco-poetic” work (both poetry and fiction), as Wigmore’s attempts to situate and to understand the self and [...]
David Zieroth. Albrecht Dürer and Me.

Hearing with your heart: David Zieroth’s Albrecht Dürer and Me

David Zieroth. Albrecht Dürer and Me. Madeira Park, BC: Harbour Publishing, 2014. ~ Reviewed by Cora Siré   If you can’t afford the time or money to travel this season, read Albrecht Dürer and Me by David Zieroth. But pack your intellect. This is no whirlwind tour of Central Europe. As the epigraph by Goethe promises, travel can change the reflective person “to the very marrow” of her bones. The settings of Zieroth’s thirty-five poems are satisfyingly specific, zooming into cemeteries, galleries, concert halls and castles in Vienna, Salzburg, Trieste and elsewhere, most haunted by intriguing [...]
Don Coles. A Serious Call

Two-Handers: Don Coles’ A Serious Call

Don Coles. A Serious Call. Erin Village, ON: The Porcupine’s Quill, 2015. ~ Reviewed by Michael Greenstein   Don Coles’ latest collection consists of thirteen shorter poems followed by a longer narrative poem, “A Serious Call.” The opening unpunctuated “poem,” a minimalist whisper, collapses time between mother and son: “I was waiting to see if / it could be long ago.” Most of the poems in this volume involve a conversation between family members, between the poet’s past and present, or between poet and other literary figures. Bookending “poem” is “Untitled,” which is [...]
Rita Bouvier. nakamowin’sa for the seasons

A different way of being: Rita Bouvier’s nakamowin’sa for the seasons

Rita Bouvier. nakamowin’sa for the seasons. Saskatoon, SK: Thistledown Press, 2015. ~Review by Marilyn Dumont   Rita Bouvier’s third collection of poetry, nakamowin’sa for the seasons, is a book of free verse that quietly persuades the reader to consider “a different way of being” when entering the work. Beginning with the title, nakamowin’sa, a Cree term that translates to ‘little songs’ in English, would suggest the songs are light renderings of experiences by a poet. But Bouvier understands the struggles and racial oppression of her ancestors who rowed the York boats, guided the [...]

Everything lifted up in time: Jeff Latosik’s Safely Home Pacific Western

Jeff Latosik. Safely Home Pacific Western. Saskatoon, SK: Goose Lane Editions, 2015. ~ Reviewed by Allison LaSorda   Jeff Latosik’s Safely Home Pacific Western is a unique take on a travelogue, focusing on the impact of the sights along the way and exploring varieties of individual interpretation. In part II of the title poem, the speaker situates himself “in an asteroid belt of the things not that we just lost / but never felt departing. How did all that become so distant / in me?” This is one gesture towards the sense of [...]
Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent

The Deadpan Centre Continues: Liz Howard’s Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent

Liz Howard. Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 2015. ~ E Martin Nolan   Canada’s colonial history is fraught, so in Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent, Liz Howard approaches it as a complex field one can enter, but not totally know. Within that field lies the speaker’s absent, drunk father, her welfare-collecting, painter mother, “settler dreams,” Copernicus, her great-grandfather, Erín Moure, Coyote, Wittgenstein and much more. Coyote and Wittgenstein provide important clues to Infinite Citizen. In Native myth, Coyote’s main attribute tends to be some form of evasiveness, or trickery [...]

Best Seen from the Knees: Patrick Lane’s Washita

Patrick Lane. Washita. Madeira Park, BC: Harbour Publishing, 2015. ~ Review by Anouk Henri   There’s a saying that death lies in the crease of your sleeve. Death is similarly woven into the pages of Patrick Lane’s latest book, Washita. From the opening poem where the dead arrive not with gilded fanfare but “like turnips pulled winter-burned and cold from the soil” to the final poem in which the narrator cuts a doe’s throat under an apple tree, tragedy and loss underpin this quietly devastating collection. If all things must disappear into death and [...]
A. F. Moritz’s Sequence

The Search for Wonder: A. F. Moritz’s Sequence

A.F. Moritz. Sequence. Toronto: House of Anansi Press, 2015. ~Review by Alison Goodwin   “It has to be living, / to learn the speech of the place…” Wallace Stevens observes in “Modern Poetry.” Sequence is written in the language of a desert, thirsting; its atmosphere is predominantly extreme and elemental. Words scratched in the sand are blown away in the next breath: “We set out because we were commanded / and yet of course we were told equally to stay home.” The days are hot enough to split stones “With a gunshot crack,” and [...]
Jalal Barzanji. Trying Again to Stop Time

I am not a storyteller/though I do keep a lot in my heart: Jalal Barzanji’s Trying Again to Stop Time.

Jalal Barzanji. Trying Again to Stop Time. Edmonton: The University of Alberta Press, 2015. ~ Review by Kimmy Beach   Jalal Barzanji’s new and selected, Trying Again to Stop Time, veers from the usual way these collections are put together. While most retrospectives of this type begin at the outset of a poet’s career and work through to recent poems—or are collected without reference to the years and titles of the original texts—this book takes us backward. We see the progression of the Kurdish-Canadian poet’s craft by watching the complexity of images grow and expand [...]
A Short History of Crazy Bone

Wild Witness: Patrick Friesen’s A Short History of Crazy Bone

Patrick Friesen. A Short History of Crazy Bone. Salt Spring Island, BC: Mother Tongue Publishing, 2015. ~ Reviewed by Harold Rhenisch   A crazy bone might be crazy (mad) or cracked (crazed) or just a funny bone that feels weird when you hit it. In Friesen’s take, it’s all three, which is not either half so funny nor crazy as it looks. It’s mostly cracked open and broken with fine lines, a hollow bone you whistle through. Such bones are war whistles. Men blow in them. Women sing. Friesen’s blowing is a long poem, a [...]
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