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Topic: Harbour Publishing

Poetic Tools Well Wielded: This Was the River by John Pass

This Was The River is the twentieth book published by John Pass. The collection consists of lyrics, usually not more than a page and a half, shaped mostly into couplets or tercets, for an airy, spare feel. In the collection—often within a single poem—Pass weaves his preoccupations with writing (his own and others’), family, aging, and the state of the natural world. The work’s meticulous technique reflects his deep experience.

Entirely Human: The Broken Face by Russell Thornton

In the presence of something awe-inspiring, whether it’s music, painting, theatre, dance or writing, one part of me looks for design while another just surrenders. I experienced both impulses reading Russell Thornton’s The Broken Face: it was so beautiful I had to surrender, but I also had to seek a design so I could comprehend its beauty.

That Old Drunk’s Place: Beyond Forgetting: Celebrating 100 Years of Al Purdy edited by Howard White and Emma Skagen

When I was in my early 20s, I took a day trip from my hometown of Belleville, ON to Ameliasburg, where Al Purdy once lived on Roblin Lake in his now-famous A-frame. He built the cabin with his wife, Eurithe, as James Arthur writes in “Al Purdy’s House,” “by hand / with no experience of carpentry / using salvaged lumber and whatever materials you (Purdy) could find.” Unable to find the house, I stopped to ask a local man who was leaning against his pickup, smoking a cigarette. Flicking the butt over his shoulder, he replied, “Why the fuck would you want to get to that old drunk’s place?”

Poems that Span the Void: the bridge from day to night David Zieroth

David Zieroth’s latest book of poetry, “the bridge from day to night,” begins with the daily observations of a poet crossing the Second Narrows Bridge on his route to and from work. Included in the first section are everyday scenes from a typical Vancouver commute―a man curled up on the sidewalk, ships passing under a bridge, a few blades of grass growing in a crack, and an unexpected run-in with an aggressive dog―but Zieroth skillfully takes these observations past their obvious conclusions and lands the reader someplace unexpected: