Category: Reviews

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undun and Poetry Beyond Print

by E Martin Nolan

The common thinking goes: Poetry is like our civilization’s aging relative no one ever really cared about, but who everyone feels obligated to visit once a year, or at least to send a card. Even if we’ve never been moved to love this relative, we don’t want them totally forgotten. They may be a charity case—totally unable to support themselves in a market economy—but they have dignity and history on their side.

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Feeling Postmodern, Failing Postmodern

by John Nyman

When I first picked up Edward Nixon’s debut poetry collection, The Fissures of Our Throats (Guernica Editions, 2014), I feared the book would bury itself taking a too-familiar stance in the all-but-exhausted debate around lyric identity, its denouncement by certain postmodern avant-gardes, and the ever-contentious role of “theory.” As an author,

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Two Books About Flowers

by Jason Freure

Looking at the body of a headless Cloten, Shakespeare’s Imogen says, “These flowers are like the pleasures of the world; this bloody man, the care on’t.” Flowers are one of the oldest images of metaphor. They stand in for spiritual, aristocratic, environmental, and romantic meanings. Shakespeare uses them extensively, but in the same breath,

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Timezone of Some Desperate Hour

by Domenica Martinello

Patriarchal European settlers were shocked by the egalitarian nature of many First Nations peoples, mistaking a lack of hierarchal structure for primitiveness and chaos. One of the epigraphs to Liz Howard’s debut collection, Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent—simply, “so violent an ecstasy”is a quote from Paul LeJeune,

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Bums, Bikers, and Tattoo Parlours

by Jason Freure

Chroniques du Centre-Sud, Richard Suicide’s latest graphic novel, documents the residents and businesses that characterized the decrepit heart of Montreal’s le Centre-Sud in the late ’80s. In this archive, the area around the corner of rue Dorion and Ontario has more tattoo parlours than bars and more bars than grocery stores,

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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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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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Why I Don’t Like Blagrave’s Unlikeable Characters

by Tyler Willis

The characters in Mark Blagrave’s Salt in the Wounds don’t often like each other, and I see no reason to, either. They’re self-obsessed, a little snobby, sometimes creepy, and usually unlikeable. Unlikeable characters are no reason to dislike a work of fiction. Duddy Kravitz, after all, may be one of the biggest assholes in Canadian literature.

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“Artists are Lepers”: Another Review of Polyamorous Love Song by Jacob Wren

by Domenica Martinello

On Monday, André Forget dissected Polyamorous Love Song by Jacob Wren. Today on The Town Crier, Domenica Martinello adds her opinion in our first ever double feature review.

The characters in Jacob Wren’s meta mash-up, Polyamorous Love Song don’t mince words when it comes to art and artists.