Category: Reviews

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The Artist as Criminal

by Jason Freure

Each scene of Susanna Fournier’s play Stencilboy and Other Portraits ended with a soap opera-esque dramatic drum roll. Everything else worked just fine, though, which means I can focus on playwright Fournier’s writing rather than the production.

Theatre tends to get left out of the literary circle. It has its own listings in the free weeklies and radically different social scenes,

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“Poetry of Experience”

by John C. Goodman

Amphetamine Heart (Guernica Editions, 2011) is poetry of experience. The poems in this book are intensely physical, bristling with visceral participles: hanging, waiting, convulsing, slavering, salivating, chewing, crawling, leaking. We are taken on a journey through the dark night of suffering through a seedy reality. It’s a rough ride in poems that are punch-to-the-gut real in language that is “raging/ uncontrollable/ hypnotic.”

With their very physical description of hard reality,

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He Will Pitch His Tent at The Traymore

by Jason Freure

In the interest of full disclosure, I am personally acquainted with poet and novelist Norm Sibum, author of The Traymore Rooms. This is the 700 page book that “nearly bankrupted” Biblioasis, according to the host of their Toronto launch party. The last time I spoke with Norm,

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Pivot at the Press Club

by Tracy Kyncl

Pivot Readings are at the core of Toronto’s literary scene. Bi-monthly at the Press Club, writers and readers extricate themselves from their Wednesday slumps and find new and familiar faces tucked into the cozy bar on Dundas West. On Wednesday October 30th Pivot hosted a very diverse line-up that included poetry,

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Rebels, Bombs, Duende

by Jason Freure

About two-thirds of the way through Jim Smith’s 2012 book of poetry from Mansfield Press, Happy Birthday, Nicanor Parra—I think it was around “Christ, Elqui” and “Risk Analysis of a Poem”—it hit me: if you’re going to write poetry at all, you might as well write whatever you want. The payout just isn’t worth the compromise in such a low revenue,

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Local Publishers Launch Their Fall Lineups

by Tracy Kyncl

After a great time at the BookThug launch, I headed over to The Garrison for the Coach House launch on Thursday, October 3rd. Despite the fact that I arrived half an hour early to an empty room, I knew that the Coach House launch would be quite the affair, considering that Wayzgoose was one of the wildest parties I had been to in a long time.

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ReTrOspective: Looking Back at uTOpia in the Rob Ford Era

by Jason Freure

uTOpia: Towards a New Toronto was published in 2005, two years after David Miller’s election as mayor of Toronto, and he even wrote the forward. In this brief post, it’s not entirely possible to do justice to the dozens of ideas, visions, and histories in uTOpia, but the book is optimistic and imaginative about the city’s future.

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Why Are We Surprised by David Gilmour?

by André Babyn

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.”

― James Baldwin

The first and last time I purchased a novel by David Gilmour I was 18,

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Author Notes: Mark Jordan Manner

by Mark Jordan Manner

Recent Puritan contributor Mark Jordan Manner answers some questions about his reading habits, what he’s been listening to, and his story, “When Life Gives You Doris,” in Issue XXII: Summer 2013 of The Puritan.

Town Crier: Does your story have an interesting origin story/compositional history you’d like to share?

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Polyvocality in the Market: Guernica Editions’ Fall 2013 Launch

by Tracy Kyncl

On Sunday, September 15th 2013 I attended Guernica Editions’ Fall Launch at Supermarket in Kensington. I’ve only ever been to Supermarket between the hours of 10 p.m. and 1, or 2 a.m., so it was a lovely surprise to see the venue just as packed as always, albeit with a slightly older crowd than usual.