Skip to content Skip to navigation

Poetry Reviews

Kirby: Nestle In Words Like An Animal: The Poetic G/Rasp of Tongue, Throat, and Mouth in G. Review of G by Klara du Plessis & Khashayar “Kess” Mohammadi

Nestle In Words Like An Animal: The Poetic G/Rasp of Tongue, Throat, and Mouth in by Kirby

G, Klara du Plessis & Khashayar “Kess” Mohammadi. Palimpsest Press, 2023.

First, let’s talk about the design/packaging of this book.

It’s exquisite. The colour palette, fonts, printed endpapers, on signature Coach House zephyr, readable text on the page. A book you want to pick up, hold, caress with the eyes and the touch. Congrats to in-house designer Ellie Hastings, editor Jim Johnstone, and publisher Aimee Parent Dunn. Finery.

Lynn Davies: Cautious Praise. Review of Lent, Kate Cayley

Cautious Praise by Lynn Davies

Lent, Kate Cayley, Book*hug Press, 2023.

In Lent, Kate Cayley’s voice is driven by doubt and occasional bouts of confidence. In “Falling,” she says matter-of-factly,

         I was putting off God. A task crossed out
         each night like laying aside clothing

         I can’t find time to repair.

Manahil Bandukwala: The edge is impossible to see at all, Review of A knife so sharp its edge cannot be seen by Erin Noteboom

In A knife so sharp its edge cannot be seen, Erin Noteboom merges her background as a particle physicist with poetry. She excavates intangible and indescribable moments from scientific experiments to blur lines between worlds that otherwise seem separate.

Katia Grubisic: Different Fruit, Review of Little Wet-Paint Girl by Ouanessa Younsi and translated by Rebecca L. Thompson

“My parents peeled me like a fig. I was a different fruit each day.” Is the self the me, an object created, or the I, with self-knowledge and even agency over its own definition? In Métissée, ably rendered in English by translator and scholar Rebecca L. Thompson as Little Wet-Paint Girl, Québec poet Ouanessa Younsi brings multiple possible selves together in a collision complicated by mixed cultural heritage.

Gary Barwin: A Radiant Incipience: Build a Wind Turbine or Get Out of the Way, Review of Plenitude by Daniel Sarah Karasik

Daniel Sarah Karasik’s Plenitude is not only a cogent articulation of trans experience, identity and rights, but an incisive systemic reading — often a socialist or Marxist reading — with several side trips to consider Jewishness. By situating gender, queerness and identity within the larger context they bring a broader analysis of how culture can subsume and often commodify the personal. And because this is poetry, we’re aware that the tropes of lyric positionality (including the lyric “I”) are also implicated.

Emily Skov-Nielsen: “What am I / Water’s Bitch?” Review of Wet Dream by Erin Robinsong

While considering my sprawl of notes from my reading, and re-reading, of Erin Robinsong’s second full-length book of poetry, Wet Dream, and wondering how to begin this review, I called to mind the following quote from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland:

“Curiouser and curiouser!” Cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English), “now I’m opening out like the largest telescope that ever was!”

Kevin Bushell: Poetry — not a jeux des mots but a weapon used to battle for historical truth, Review of The Ventriloquist: Poetic Narratives from the Womb of War by Gary Geddes

The current geo-political events in Ukraine make the release of Gary Geddes’ latest collection, (The Ventriloquist: Poetic Narratives from the Womb of War (Rock’s Mills Press), all the more timely. Geddes has gathered in this one collection four previous books on the theme of war: Letter of the Master of Horse (1973), War & Other Measures (1976), The Terracotta Army (1984), and Hong Kong Poems (1987).

Pages