By Rebecca Salazar
Sean Howard has won our 24th annual Ralph Gustafson Prize for Best Poem for "Cases (Unbound Poems, from Nova Scotia Reports)." Sean Howard is the author of Local Calls (Cape Breton University Press, 2009) and Incitements (Gaspereau Press, 2011). His poetry has been published in numerous Canadian and international magazines, nominated for a Pushcart Prize in the US, and anthologized in The Best Canadian Poetry in English (Tightrope Books, 2011 & 2014). Sean lives in the lobster-fishing village of Main-à-Dieu, Nova Scotia, and is adjunct professor of political science at Cape Breton University.
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.