Category: Reviews

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Recycling the News Cycle

by Spencer Gordon

Jason Freure of The Puritan shares his thoughts on Stefan Christoff’s retrospective, an informative collection that, for better or worse, makes an art of recycling the news.

Stefan Christoff launched his English-language zine-format collection of journalism on the 2012 Quebec student strike at Another Story Bookshop just last month.

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Sports Poems that Don’t Work: Richard Harrison and (Especially) Priscila Uppal Edition

by E. Martin Nolan

In “Writers and Sports,” Mordecai Richler sets the record straight: “North American literary men in general…have always been obsessed by sports.” And as Richler bears out, sports have long furnished the essayist with worthy material (and his inclusion of Joyce Carol Oates in this essay extends this beyond men).

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Others Have Blossomed: Eliza Griswold’s Introduction to Landays

by Phoebe Wang

Western poets have been aware of the ghazal’s couplet-like form for decades. But there is less familiarity with landays, a form of oral folk couplet shared amongst speakers of Pashtun. That may soon change with the Poetry Foundation’s June issue, which is entirely devoted to the form.

In the accompanying Poetry Magazine podcast,

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Embracing the Blatantly Poetic: Peter Norman Edition

by E. Martin Nolan

Stuart Cole, of The Urge, has claimed Peter Norman possesses a “peculiar mastery” and that, formally, he “seems capable of writing anything he wants.” I have nothing to add to Cole’s typically astute, honest and accurate account of Norman’s poetry. (You should read his reviews).

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Embracing the Blatantly Poetic: Lisa Pasold Edition

by E. Martin Nolan

It’s not hard to place Lisa Pasold’s Any Bright Horse within certain prevalent trends in recent poetry. The book props up bits of linearity, then lightly abandons them and convolutes them with one another. In the same way it tries on verse shapes and forms. That latter trait is possible because Pasold’s forms denote more a way of thinking,

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As It is in Its Reviews: Anne Carson’s Red Doc>, Pt. 2

by E. Martin Nolan

In his National Post review of Anne Carson’s Red Doc> Michael Lista writes, “this isn’t really poetry … it’s prose.” Like Jason Guriel, whose Poetry review I’ve already touched on, Lista argues that Anne Carson’s verse formations are “arbitrary” and contain “no formal meaning.” Lista also claims that the only definite ramification of Carson’s two-inch-wide centre-justified verses is that with them the book is longer than if they were,

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As it is in its Reviews, Red Doc> by Anne Carson, Part 1: Jason Guriel

by E. Martin Nolan

Jason Guriel seems to be performing an elaborate cop-out in “Autobiography of Reader,” his review of Anne Carson’s Red Doc>. While not entirely negative, the review levels some heavy criticism against Carson and her latest book. Guriel saves his fiercest displeasure, though, for her fans, whom he claims are so drunk on Carson they let her get away with overwriting,

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Bad Habits: Tendencies in Criticism We Shouldn’t Put Up With

by Phoebe Wang

In the weeks following the publication of my Puritan review of Matthew Tierney’s Probably Inevitable, I was reluctant to cement the dichotomy between the so-called positive and negative review, a much emphasized topic in Canadian literary criticism of late. Every critic is justified in his or her taste,

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The Garrison Monopolizes Toronto’s Spring Launch Season

by Jess Taylor

This year’s spring launch season feels a little more subdued than last year – maybe it’s the terrible, fluky weather, but I think it’s that everything’s at The Garrison. The Dundas West spot houses the monthly Write Club, but this spring it’s hosted launches for Coach House,

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Sonneteering: Billy Collins’s “Sonnet”

by Andy Verboom

collinsFirst, a preambulatory gem from Billy Collins’s 2004 lecture on Walt Whitman:

I’m going to talk about Walt Whitman today.
And I had written out a talk
and that took some time
and so I’m going to read it.
But I’m going to interrupt my reading
to talk about Whitman a little bit.