Who better to introduce us to Canada’s loopy seasonal carousel than Mark Sampson?
Michael Crummey’s fifth collection, Little Dogs, provides an astute mid-career sampling from a poet-storyteller skilled at embracing all aspects of the Labradorean experience through the eyes of adolescents, middle-agers and elders. The book proceeds chronologically with generous helpings from each of the author’s first four collections, ending with twenty-three new poems. Elegies, persona pieces, list poems, bird portraits, male insecurity lyrics, deathbed vigils and excursions into homebrew inebriation keep this 96-poem whopper steaming down the track.
Ian Burgham, whose last collection appeared in 2012, has chosen an ideal title for his fifth book of poetry. Throughout its forty-five-poem length, this hard-hitting travelogue of the spirit addresses three mainstays of existence: we’re essentially alone, death is inevitable and relationships often break down. He opens with a poem of spousal betrayal set in Scotland and asks “what do we hunger for most— / truth or illusion?” Then we move on to “Istanbul” where, despite the exotic splendour of the place, “the heart’s attachments / can be dismantled.”
Dante’s House, Richard Greene’s follow up to Boxing the Compass, which won the 2010 Governor General’s Award, shows once again his fluency with blank verse narratives, rhyming couplets, and this time, an extended terza rima account of a summer teaching stint in Siena, Italy. His new book’s opening poems take the reader, for starters, to […]