Back of the road a ways
Brighten the Corner Where You Are, Carol Bruneau. Vagrant Press, 2020.
Sometimes a gifted writer can convey a character by getting an absolute sense of that character’s voice. It is a peculiar kind of ventriloquism, some kind of almost hypnotic union, and when it works it is absolutely brilliant, as it is in Brighten the Corner Where You Are, by Carol Bruneau.
Asking the Impossible
Any God Will Do, Virginia Konchan. Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2020.
While reading Halifax-based poet Virginia Konchan’s second collection, I experienced my capacity for feeling — in the broadest, most contradictory sense — expand. In fact, Any God Will Do seems to me essentially about excess (of feeling, of stimulus, of being) and about the idea of divinity as an overwhelming localization of the too-much.
Conversations between writers who self-identify as Black, Indigenous and People of Colour about craft, creativity, vision and tradition can be a means of celebration and resistance. Yet venues for these exchanges have seen far too few writers of colour engaging in reviews, interviews and literary criticism.
The Long and the Short of It
Charity, Keath Fraser. Biblioasis, 2021.
There must be a term — something Latin and ornate — for the evolutionary process of when a species of such primacy devours its habitat until everywhere it looks it sees only itself. Whatever this word is, the novel has done exactly that in the literary landscape. The novel’s conquering of the bookshelves is so total that the bookstore’s only other surviving genres seem to be Disaster Nonfiction, Retired Hockey Player Memoir, and Scented Candle.