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Topic: Mike Caesar

A Defiant Discordance of Detritus: Niagara & Government by Phil Hall

In the past ten years (post-Kildeer, pre-Covid), I’ve been lucky to have more than a few chances to hear Phil Hall read in the bars, cafes, lecture halls and ballrooms of the Ottawa and Gatineau valleys. His poetry—his voice—is a marvel. He would put it differently. In Niagara & Government, Hall’s 17th collection, it’s “a discordance / that cherishes & defies.” It’s also a “miserable rant voice,” “honesty’s long squeak,” “unboiled calligraphy,” an “unlikely tongue / I am not ashamed of anymore.” With it, he is “curating strident toward a fable / of leaky worth.”