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Torque on the Image: Receiving Damian Rogers’ “Paper Radio.”

Reviewed by Jeff Latosik Paper Radio Damian Rogers ECW Press, 2009 120 pages, $16.95 Paper Radio is the debut collection from Damian Rogers, a former arts editor at Eye Weekly and recent writer-in-residence at Open Book: Toronto. Over the past year, she’s maintained a conspicuous presence in Canadian magazines; her collection comes amid one of […]

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God of Missed Connections

Reviewed by Spencer Gordon God of Missed Connections Elizabeth Bachinsky Nightwood Editions, 2009 80 pages, $17.95 “History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.” So says Stephen Dedalus, famously, in Joyce’s Ulysses. To the speaker of Elizabeth Bachinsky’s God of Missed Connections, history can indeed be nightmarish — the hard facts of […]

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Oneiric

Reviewed by Robert Earl Stewart Oneiric Nyla Matuk Frog Hollow Press, 2009 63 pages, $36 (limited edition) “All nights are like postcards.” This line appears, rather innocuously, in “Barbados Hotel, Almost Empty,” the second poem in Oneiric, Toronto-based poet Nyla Matuk’s debut collection. Sandwiched between “a lone Panama hat / drunk at the bar” and […]

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Melle Mel Visited Jerusalem but Missed the Meaning

Reviewed by Alessandro Porco The Benjamin Sonnets Clint Burnham BookThug, 2009 60 pages, $18 Try as a poet may for objectivity, for the past to relive itself, not for his living the historical data, he can do only one of two things: get up a most brief catalog of antiquities (people become dates, epitaphs), or […]

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The Velocity of Escape

Review by Evie Christie The Velocity of Escape Jim Johnstone Guernica Editions, 2008 51 pages, $15 Jim Johnstone’s debut collection, The Velocity of Escape, is rife with peculiar, redolent detail. The jacket text points out for us the occurrences of “Siamese twins, circus performers, burn victims and scientists” and their uncommon link with “rhetorical science.” […]

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Pigeon

Review by Andrew Faulkner Pigeon Karen Solie House of Anansi Press, 2009 112 pages, $18.95 We know who Karen Solie is. She is the author of Short Haul Engine and Modern and Normal, which have brought her a fistful of awards and nominations. Solie was the Canadian judge for the 2007 Griffin Poetry Prize, and […]

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Fond

Reviewed by Aaron Tucker Fond Kate Eichhorn BookThug, 2008 80 pages, $20 The modern mind is no longer asked to remember. As Google swallows information, repackages and archives it, the need for memory shrinks; it becomes far more important to know where and how to find a fact than to retain that same fact. Therefore […]

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Crabwise, Crabwise, Burning Bright

Reviewed by Jeff Latosik Crabwise to the Hounds Jeramy Dodds Coach House Books, 2008 80 pages, $16.95 Wallace Stevens famously quipped, “A poem need not have a meaning and like most things in nature often does not have.” While such a sentiment may do little to win over those who desire a clear raison d’être […]

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Robert Earl Stewart’s “Near Muted Swans”

Near Muted Swans A likeness like an electrocardiogram fire bleeding a blood orange running into what can only be called corpse paint grey, then rust wet waterline. I’m playing this game with the top of the food chain in the boats docked along the canal, with a long way to go through a Confederate town […]

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“Pure with Wild Intention”: On Jason Camlot’s The Debaucher*

Review by Alessandro Porco The Debaucher Jason Camlot Insomniac Press, 2008 112 pages, $11.95 The title poem of Jason Camlot’s third collection of poetry, The Debaucher, is an essay into the meaning and value of debauchery as an aesthetic and ethos. A “debaucher is not necessarily / a person,” writes Camlot, though it certainly could […]

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