Month: February 2015

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Boyden’s The Orenda: All Bets Are Off

by Julienne Isaacs

You’ll forget. There’ll be lightning, then the sun will push out like an egg,
metallic and hard, before receding into redness. You won’t sleep long.
In the morning, the Battle River will sparkle nearly white,
a colour you recognize but it’s too much, your eyes can’t take that much brightness.

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Kisses of Acadian and Gobs of Québécois

by Tyler Willis

This post originally appeared on The Town Crier on April 12, 2014, five days after the Québec general election of 2014 gave Phillipe Couillard’s federalist Liberal Party a majority government. It was a response to Denise Duhamel’s poem, “Zou Bisou Bisou.”

When Megan Draper sang “Zou Bisou Bisou” on Mad Men,

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Review: Ken Babstock’s On Malice

by Scott Marentette

One of the most significant contradictions and ironies of the contemporary moment is that the proliferation of so many devices and programs devised for orienting ourselves has increased our sense of disorientation. In On Malice, Ken Babstock confronts this dialectic of disorientation by taking his cue from Walter Benjamin,

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Interview: Liz Howard

by Jillian Harkness

Liz Howard is the author of Of Hereafter Song, a rewriting of Longfellow’s The Song of Hiawatha. Jillian Harkness interviewed Liz Howard for The Town Crier’s month-long investigation into poetry and activism.

Jillian Harkness: Your re-writing of the Longfellow poem,

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by Napatsi Folger

Taqaliq wakes up on the couch to the inane chatter of an early morning news show. Disoriented and still fully dressed, she rubs her eyes and stretches. The apartment is quiet. Kathryn must still be asleep. Taqaliq walks to the kitchen, puts on a pot of coffee, and slowly goes through the motions of her morning routine,

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Review: Christine Leclerc’s Oilywood

by Andy Verboom

Christine Leclerc’s Oilywood, well-deserved winner of the 2014 bpNichol award, operates like a cut-up filmstrip of biographical and autobiographical reflections on coastal life in BC’s Burrard Inlet. The action is prompted by increasingly public and dubiously legal tar sand/oil industry incursions into the region. Spliced into this film strip’s em-dash cuts are a ticker tape of oil giant Kinder Morgan’s news releases and a scattering of terse,

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Interview: Maggie Helwig

by André Forget

André Forget interviews author, poet, and priest Maggie Helwig for her opinions on poetry, activism, and her role in a church with a tradition of radicalism.

André Forget: At least in the popular Canadian context, poetry has a reputation for being an elite art form, one patronized and appreciated by the bourgeoisie,

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The Myth of the Truth

by Bänoo Zan

There is a myth that there is a story behind every poem, and there is a myth that stories need poetry to achieve the status of myth. Though poetry is the territory before and beyond stories, I have sketched a creation myth about how I came to write the poems, Toronto 2012 and Payäm-där.

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Calling Out “The Ballad of Ferguson”

by E Martin Nolan

Frederick Seidel wrote a frown-inducing poem. There were some moments, you could argue, but ultimately, it was random and directionless. Not a great poem, but who cares? To apply a quote from the poem itself, you’d do well to “forget about about about it.”

Except he titled it, “The Ballad of Ferguson, Missouri,” and The Paris Review published it online in the midst of the post-Michael Brown uproar,

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Journalese vs. Poetic Language

by Lisa Pasold

Palestinian-American poet and journalist Sharif S. Elmusa has written, “Language under authoritarian regimes rusts, turns dull, loses its edge and luster.” Sadly, this rust isn’t limited to authoritarian regimes. The language of our Canadian media is also rusting—to the extent that whole segments of the machinery have fallen away and left Journalese.