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Topic: Rhonda Batchelor

The Green Fuse of Life UnDenied: Rhonda Batchelor’s Allow Me: Poems 2000-2020

Allow Me offers an eye for detail that opens quiet moments of solitude for the reader and gives unexpected appreciation for a particular fire on a cold winter day: “There must be resin in this log / to make it blaze like a saint” (“Fire”).

Being Here Now: Phillip Crymble’s Not Even Laughter

Of the 58 poems contained in this collection, an astonishing 43 have seen previous publication in a wide variety of journals in Canada, the US, the UK, Australia and Ireland. This speaks to the excellence of Crymble’s work and it is gratifying to have those poems, and more, gathered here by an important Irish press. Crymble, who was born in Belfast, came to Canada with his parents at age 11, having also lived in Zambia for 2 years. Since 2010, he has lived in Fredericton, where he studies and teaches at the University of New Brunswick. Such biographical detail is mentioned only because the notion of “home” plays such a significant role in Not Even Laughter. Is home where one was born, or is it where one now chooses to live? For the author, the pull of memory and nostalgia contributes to a fluidity that allows him, often through sensory associations, to slip between each world, or even occupy both at once.