By Phillip Crymble
A Review of Carmelita McGraw's Escape Velocity (Goose Lane, 2013) I was reminded, in reading through Escape Velocity, of the cultural and aural vernacular that’s so much a part of the literary geography of Newfoundland. The trick, I think, with any brogue, is to try and do it justice without putting the idiomatic phrases and language used in jeopardy of being considered a caricature. McGrath deftly straddles the line in this new collection, and her ability to recognize and resist the impulse to essentially reduce native Newfoundlanders to a comic commodity through exaggerated dialect is one of the book’s great achievements.
By Eric Miller
A Review of Friedrich Hölderlin, Selected Poems, introduced, edited and translated by Emery George (Princeton UP, 2011) What is “nobility”? In a society, such as ours, that makes a fretful, often duplicitous, yet admirable pretence to democratic practice, the word may seem insistently, even discouragingly, to flaunt a feudal livery, contaminating all the situations into which we import it with the ghost of a titular presumption over the rest of society: an intractable case of most ancient bloodlines. But the origins of the word “noble” offer a means by which to parry, even to disarm, such narrow atavism.
By Phillip Crymble Kayla Czaga has won our 23rd annual Ralph Gustafson Prize for Best Poem for "That Great-Upholstered Beacon of Dependability." Kayla Czaga won The Malahat Review’s 2012 Far Horizons Award for poetry. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Walrus, The New Quarterly, Best Canadian Poetry in English 2012, Arc, and others. Her first book, For Your Safety Please Hold On, is forthcoming this fall from Nightwood Editions. She lives and writes in Vancouver, where she is completing her MFA at UBC.
By Vanessa Moeller
I am a long-standing admirer of John Steffler's work. I find his beautifully crafted poems, with their deft use of language, visceral and epiphanic. The senses cannot help but come alive reading lines like "the tramped grass steamy as seaweed in the migraine / of noon" or "the bone flakes encrusting a bracelet / of kelp," but what sets this work apart is the understated manner in which it asks questions of the reader.
By Lorna Crozier
One of the things I admire about Michael Crummey’s work is his nod to traditional forms and the iambic pentameter line. They extend his long reach into the past, yet his poems feel innovative and new because of the subject matter and the toughness and tenderness of his voice. . . .
Photo by Chris Cameron
By Shoshanna Wingate
Carmelita McGrath holds a singular place in the heart of Newfoundland poetry. For an island that loves its poets, this is not a consolation prize for the weird auntie who likes her hats big and bright, but a heartfelt space created for a poet who inspired so many in their development. . . .
Photo by Kerri Cull
By Jeffery Donaldson
Richard Greene begins: “I am at home in a high-rise.” You want to catch the nuance there: the descent motif, finding one’s ground among the contemporary urban domiciles; but also the ascent, the daily routine struggling to rise above itself. Greene’s poems are high-risers that seek a lifting leverage in high-rises. . . .
By George Murray
A transplanted Irishman, Warner fits into the Newfoundland anthology in two ways — first, as a poet who had a significant connection to the Rock before the publication of his first book (he’s been here for 33 years); and second, as a man of wit and stories from a culture of wit and stories. . . .