menu Arc Poetry Magazine

Topic: contemporary poetry

George Murray: Beautiful Chaos

  Following the publication of George Murray’s Glimpse in late 2010, Rob Winger began a conversation with Murray to hammer out some truths—about constraints of form and space, distillation, and whether it matters if anyone gets it. With Murray’s new collection, Whiteout, just released, Winger revisited the conversation to see if those truths still stand. […]

Laurels Enough: The Griffin Prize Anthology 2012

Introducing The Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology 2012, editor David O’Meara borrows from Rilke: “Poetry is the past that breaks out in our hearts.” The shortlisted poets—four international and three Canadian, whose work was judged by O’Meara alongside the eminent Fiona Sampson and Heather McHugh—explore, O’Meara writes, “the wreckage of history, studying our personal hopes and […]

Griffin finalist poised for a hat trick: Phil Hall's Killdeer

Killdeer is poised for a hat trick: it’s won the Governor General’s Award for poetry and is a finalist for the Griffin Prize and the Ontario Trillium Book Award. That amount of acclaim shifts the lens of the review from standard to panoramic. It becomes somewhat of a given that a book with so much […]

Griffin finalist aspires to the condition of music: Jan Zwicky's Forge

Forge is a book of extraordinarily beautiful poems. The book appears suspended—even the print floating just off the page. Reading it or even thinking about it, I have a strong sense of being physically slowed down, of holding my breath. It is not only Zwicky’s subject matter and imagery, but her exact and meticulous poetics. […]

Griffin finalist takes us on a wonderful ride: Ken Babstock’s Methodist Hatchet

There have been a lot of reviews of Ken Babstock’s Methodist Hatchet, and they’re a pretty mixed bag, swinging from gushing praise to befuddled admiration to downright animosity. And that makes sense. Babstock’s fourth collection is a challenging, confident work that pulls no punches and makes no apologies for deliberately breaking new ground. Seldom emotionally […]

Steely control: Catherine Owen’s Seeing Lessons

Seeing Lessons is an ambitious undertaking, a fictionalized account of the life of Mattie Gunterman, a turn-of-the-century BC labour camp cook and nature photographer, who lived as few other women did then—self-sufficient, an artist at the frontier. Mattie set up camp, cooked the stew, saw to the sprat somehow keeping still for the lens, and […]

Arc up for two National Magazine Awards!

With its partner in Quarc-ey folly The New Quarterly, Arc is up for two National Magazine Awards. Harry Thurston (“Ova Aves”) and Matthew Holmes (“The Failing of Purity”), whose poems were published in the science-themed Quarc issue (Arc 66, summer 2011), are finalists in the poetry category for the 35th annual National Magazine Awards. Congratulations […]

Delight and brilliant imagery: Jen Currin’s The Inquisition Yours

Imagine a world in which identity is a question you ask of yourself. The world of Jen Currin’s most recent collection is such an inquisition. It is not in a state of “being,” as was the twentieth-century world, but of reading and of being read. The Inquisition Yours is two worlds, splitting, always, into more. […]

David McGimpsey: How to earn instant U.S. citizenship, and other stories

  Arc’s current Poet-in-Residence Rob Winger spoke to poet, journalist, professor and Groucho-Marxist David McGimpsey. McGimpsey is the author of four acclaimed collections of poetry, including most recently Li’l Bastard, published in 2011 by Coach House.   Rob Winger: Like many Canadian writers, you seem to wear a lot of hats: writer, musician, professor, Yankees-fan-by-default. […]

An alphabet of knots: kevin mcpherson eckhoff’s Rhapsodomancy

I’ve been very taken with the explosion of concrete and visual poetry in Canada over the past decade or so, much of which seems to have been encouraged and developed, directly or indirectly, by Calgary’s derek beaulieu, whether through his own ongoing practice, his work through filling Station and dANDelion, or his publishing, both in […]