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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

ARC Reviews Rove - Wrestling with Location

Excerpt of a Review by Danielle Janess [...]

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Wildness Rushing In - Reviewed in Star Phoenix

Review Excerpt by William Robertson, Saskatoon Star-Phoenix [...]

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Laying the Children's Ghosts to Rest, Rave Review in Vancouver Sun

Here is an excerpt of a review of Laying the Children's Ghosts to Rest by Sean Arthur Joyce from the Vancouver sun written by poet and critic, Gary Geddes:  [...]

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

REVIEW: A Country Boy

Review by Keith Foster (SPG Book Reviews) [...]

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

NINE: A Journal of Baseball History & Culture Reviews Stealing Home

Dwayne Brenna. Stealing Home: Baseball Poems. [...]

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Review: Lorna Crozier on The Survival Rate of Butterflies in the Wild

When one of her former students gave Lorna Crozier a copy of The Survival Rate of Butterflies in the Wild by Murray Reiss she was both moved an astounded by the book. She recently wrote to Hagios Press and Murray Reiss with this response... “I’m stunned with the magnificence of the poetry in The Survival Rate of Butterflies in the Wild by Murray Reiss. He has found a way to look at an age-old subject in a startling new way. His images, his images! Reiss’s con [...]

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Monday, December 9, 2013

Review Excerpt: The Survival Rate of Butterflies In The Wild by Murray Reiss - The Vancouver Sun

Reiss has found a way in this remarkable new book of verse to meet the challenge of finding words for the unspeakable. The Survival Rate of Butterflies in the Wild is a tough book to read, full of the paradoxical horrors of feeling too much and feeling nothing at all, rich with tightly disciplined lines that come as close as language can to addressing what may be humankind’s most appalling demonstration of just how far we can go into the darkness, and does it all without rhetoric [...]

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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Review Excerpt: Rove by Laurie D. Graham - Telegraph Journal

Mike Landry's review of Rove by Laurie D. Graham appeared on December 07 2013 in Salon, New Brunswick's home for fine art and culture in the Telegraph-Journal. [...]

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Friday, November 29, 2013

Review: Text offers hope in face of the unbearable

“How can I bury my dead Even their hair and ashes are gone How can I bury my dead Every stone of my village gone How can I bury my dead If they live in me” Thus, in the final lines of his searing meditation in verse on the Holocaust and its legacy of emotional numbness and horrifying images, Saltspring Island poet Murray Reiss on the problem of poetry after the Shoah has amply demonstrated the victory of chaos over form, hatred over love, cold technocratic efficiency over human grie [...]

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Friday, November 8, 2013

Review: Robert David Symons: Countryman: Artist, Writer, Naturalist, Rancher

As Robert Symons lay seriously ill in bed, a friend dropped by to check on him. Sweating profusely, Symons explained that he needed to finish reviewing the proofs for his forthcoming book because “I think I’m going to die tonight.” [...]

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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Reviews: Grid by Brenda Schmidt

There is a moment in Brenda Schmidt’s latest collection of poems, in which the speaker invokes the melodious sing-along of nursery rhyme: [...]

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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Review: The Survival Rate of Butterflies In The Wild by Murray Reiss

The Survival Rate of Butterflies In The Wild by Murray Reiss is a hauntingly beautiful book of poetry, influenced largely by Reiss’ childhood memories of his Jewish family’s struggles – not only with their new life in Canada, but with living with the knowledge that they survived the horrors of the holocaust in Poland, while family members perished. [...]

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Monday, October 21, 2013

Review Excerpt: Boy by Victor Enns - Prairie Fire

We are out on the prairie, where inertia can be an optical illusion. The poetry is steeped in guilt and religion, yet isn’t just that. Enns is wry and knowing. Early on in “This Wheel’s on Fire” he sets the alarm in the first line: “Goethe and Schiller are on fire” (23). The school library is burning, and nothing beats the last three lines for their scorching irony:  “the school / is burning down / can you see the light?” [...]

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Review Excerpt: Stealing Home by Dwayne Brenna - Arc Poetry Magazine

Dwayne Brenna brings the game of baseball into poetry in a book filled with grace and memory—memory of how this game shaped him into a man and how this man’s identity was shaped by the game. Stealing Home sings of the joy and the beauty of baseball while the stages of life zing past like a cold, hard, 4-seam fastball. [...]

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Monday, September 9, 2013

Review: Boy by Victor Enns - Journal of Mennonite Studies

Victor Enns’s latest book of poetry Boy is a work of memoir. The photograph of his family that illustrates the cover page invites the reader to understand the book as personal and autobiographical. Boy takes as its territory that period of childhood from the moment of first consciousness to beginnings of adolescence where one’s life is very much circumscribed by family, school and one’s local community. [...]

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Monday, September 9, 2013

Review: Boy by Victor Enns - Rhubarb

Victor Enns’s fourth poetry collection paints a picture of a rural Manitoba boyhood in a time when TV was new and boys could bike across the U.S. border for a swim. [...]

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Friday, June 21, 2013

Open Book: Toronto Blogger Praises Laurie D Grahamís Rove

Andrew Faulkner writes a blog on Open Book: Toronto. His first book, Need Machine, was published by Coach House Books in April 2013. He wrote about Laurie D Graham’s poetry book Rove in advance of publication. Here is an excerpt: [...]

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Sunday, June 2, 2013

ARC Reviews Grid - Dust Maps

An excerpt of a review by Tanis MacDonald  [...]

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Monday, April 1, 2013

Review: Stealing Home: Baseball Poems by Dwayne Brenna - Spitball Magazine

Spitball, the prestigious American magazine of literary writing on baseball reviewed Dwayne Brenna’s Stealing Home: Baseball Poems, in their spring 2013 edition: Stealing Home is a collection of more than fifty baseball poems by Dwayne Brenna, a Spitball contributor and teacher of drama at the University of Saskatchewan. The breadth of subject is delightfully wide, ranging from poems about playing situations and experiences to imagined sexual pickup lines in the [...]

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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Review Excerpt: Famous Roadkill by Allan Safarik - Saskatoon Star Phoenix

In the wonderfully and jarringly titled Famous Roadkill, Safarik drops little observations of everything that surrounds him. Safarik's poetry has an elasticity of vision that takes first the world, but not the poet, seriously, then switches perspective, keeping both Safarik and his readers on their toes. – Saskatoon Star Phoenix – Bill Robertson   [...]

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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Review Excerpt: Red Ceiling by Bridget Keating - Saskatoon Star Phoenix

Bridget Keating sees vast tracks of myth and history in the trees, stones and ancestors around her. In “Oskana-ka-asateki “she considers the acts of violence that went into making her city and are now paved under its streets, "the bison bones/ locked beneath veins of asphalt”. These are poems both rooted in the land and rising above it. They see the stones and lichen up close, and the hills and houses from overhead. – Saskatoon Star Phoenix – Bill Robe [...]

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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Review Excerpt: Henry's Game by David Elias - Winnipeg Free Press

Elias, a veteran novelist and short-story writer who also teaches the craft, creates a perceptive snapshot of daily life filled with humour and surprising insights. His sentences are short and to the point, some just two or three words long. Just as a chess game moves from opening to middlegame to checkmate, the story races to its conclusion. – Winnipeg Free Press – Cecil R [...]

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Review Excerpt: Grid by Brenda Schmidt - Winnipeg Free Press

Brenda Schmidt turns a colder eye to the landscape than most other Canadian poets. Schmidt’s best poems have this sense of things “just slipping” out, even as they show clear evidence of careful craft. She doesn’t over-describe but makes each word count while building then releasing striking images: “The birch in the backyard / snapped last night in a storm / the top ten feet now borne / by the willow like a coffin.” – Winnipeg Free Press &ndash [...]

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Review: The History of Naming Cows by Mitch Spray

The History of Naming Cows is one of the quirkiest titles for a poetry book that I’ve come across, but it’s a natural fit. It speaks to the tradition as well as the personal connection of farming and raising cattle on the prairies as found in the poetry. Many of the poems begin in childhood and describe the curiosity, wonder and contentment with farm life as well as bringing new life and brightness to seemingly mundane tasks. The objects and experiences that fascinate a chil [...]

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Review: Threading Light: Explorations in Loss and Poetry by Lorri Neilsen Glenn

Lorri Neilsen Glenn’s Threading Light: Explorations in Loss and Poetry, is simmered to perfection; reading it wasn’t enough, I wanted to chew it, comprised as it is mostly of tender, slow-cooked self-reflexive prose, seasoned with poetry as earthy and rich as rosemary. A morsel of this work spends a moment in the mouth, red wine reduction keeps one licking the lips, and wanting another bite. This book presents to me, again, that we, in the [...]

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Monday, July 9, 2012

Review: The Cellophane Sky: jazz poems

In the same way a jazz musician feels into the heart of a melody to improvise a free expression of its soul, Jeff Park in this collection of poems imagines the inner lives of the jazz greats, spinning onto the page their physical worlds, the emotional meanings of events in their lives, and the stories they told themselves about their place in the scheme of things. [...]

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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Review Excerpt: Grid by Brenda Schmidt - Quill & Quire

Schmidt is both an observer and a participant in her poems and she successfully illustrates urban intrusions into the natural landscape around her. Grid is a true celebration of life in the northern Prairies. A wry humor, arising out of observation and irony, is prevalent in Grid, along with a certain sardonic detachment. – Quill & Quire – Alexis Kienlen [...]

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Review Excerpt: The History of Naming Cows by Mitch Spray - Western Producer

It’s gritty, moving, gory, farm loving and grassroots poetry. If you have the tiniest urge to catch some wonderful words, try Mitch Spray. If you’re from a farm, you’ll love them. – Western Producer – Joanne Paulson   [...]

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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Review Excerpt: Boy by Victor Enns - Winnipeg Free Press

Digging up the past, whether literal or figural, seems to be the theme of this collection, which, as the title suggests, focuses on childhood experience. In “The Dig” the speakers father literally digs up the past, finking skeletons while making a new outhouse hole, while another series of poems offers heartbreaking scenes from an episode of child abuse. – Winnipeg Free Press – Jonathan Ball [...]

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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Review Excerpt: Threading Light by Lorri Neilsen Glenn - Saskatoon Star Phoenix

In Threading Light, a series of essays, Glenn explores the meaning of loss and ways in which it can be made into poetry. Glenn asks compelling questions about loss and “longing for wholeness we can never retrieve.”  – Saskatoon Star Phoenix – Bill Robertson [...]

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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Review Excerpt: Grid by Brenda Schmidt - Saskatoon Star Phoenix

Schmidt brings clinical detachment, when needed, to human relationships or entanglements. In poems such as “Horsing Around”, with its superb line breaks, parts of the long poem, “Mystic Lake Corridor”, and “Midway”, with its hanging question of starting a family, Schmidt shows an ability to stand back, assess clearly and make a dry report. – Saskatoon Star Phoenix – Bill Robertson [...]

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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Review Excerpt: The History of Naming Cows by Mitch Spray - Saskatoon Star Phoenix

This collection is not for the faint of heart. The cattle at the Spray place were not pets. Spray and his family were making a living from raising cattle and sometimes the images he evokes are tough, even brutal. In these poems gives readers a graphic look at the live and death drama that sends us our beef.” – Saskatoon Star Phoenix – Bill Robertson [...]

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Review Excerpt: Threading Light by Lorri Neilsen Glenn - Bookmark Bookstore Blog

A compelling and poetic work, this collection of linked prose explores Neilsen Glenn’s journey into poetry and deepening understanding of poetry as a model for secular compunction that serves as a form of prayer. – Bookmark Bookstore Blog [...]

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Review Excerpt: Wind Thrashing Your Heart by Don Kerr - Saskatoon Star Phoenix

What stands out most about the collection is Kerr’s insouciant presentation. Kerr loves to play with language and with proprieties, rejecting symphony music as it is about “worlds that have/ in common with my life/ nothing” and loving jazz because “doctor freud psychojazzalyzed/ begins to bogie.” Love and jazz and Don Kerr’s poetry are spontaneous, like loose grammar and liquid love. – Saskatoon Star Phoenix – Bill Robertson [...]

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Review Excerpt: The Cellophane Sky: Jazz Poems by Jeff Park - Saskatoon Star Phoenix

With a huge body of research behind him – books read, albums devoured, clubs haunted, stories heard- Park writes jazz’s origins in its near-mystical draw…then tells a number of jazz’s sad stories. If you’ve entered into that delicious mystery (that is jazz) these poems will deepen your appreciation for the talent and the sacrifice that created the music. – Saskatoon Star Phoenix – Bill Robertson [...]

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Review: Vidh: a Book of Mourning by Phyllis Nakonechny

Following the death of her husband, Phyllis Nakonechny devoted much of her time to the pursuit of understanding grief and grieving. She asked the question “what does it mean to be a widow?” and came away empty-handed. What she learned is the stark, utterly personal nature of such a quest. However, she discovered a few signposts along the way which she now shares in hope of helping others through their own journey. The first thing Phyllis found was a simple word: Vidh. < [...]

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Review: After the Words by Jennifer Londry

Jennifer Londry’s handsome new poetry collection, After The Words, feels like a play consisting of vignettes, and readers are given much room for their own imagining. The setting is a care home, where the occupants – including the poet’s Alzheimer’s-afflicted mother – wander the halls, their voices and faculties fading in and out. Can poetry be made of this terrain? Of course. And it’s important that it is. [...]

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Friday, August 13, 2010

Review: The Day is a Cold Grey Stone by Allan Safarik

Prolific and critically-acclaimed poet Allan Safarik has reached the point in his career where a “New and Selected” anthology of his work is well-warranted. Safarik’s made Dundurn, SK his home for many years, but he hails from – and is inexorably bound to – the West Coast, and it’s that watery landscape which receives his literary attention in The Day is a Cold Grey Stone. [...]

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Review Excerpt: Fallout by Sandra Ridley - pesbo

Pearl Pirie reviewed Sandra Ridley's Fallout for pesbo after her June launch in Ottawa. Here is an excerpt. [...]

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Review: Fallout by Sandra Ridley

Before I read Fallout, the new book of poetry by former Saskatchewanian Sandra Ridley, I had never heard of “Downwinders,” “trinitite,” or “the Tumbler-Snapper Test Series.” “Atomic Cowboys?” The term sounds like an apt name for a country punk band, but in the Notes section of the Ottawa poet’s book we learn that these cowboys were hired by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission to “herd cattle over Ground Zero just after deton [...]

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Review: White Light Primitive by Andrew Stubbs

Breathtaking and profound, White Light Primitive is the first poetry collection of Regina writer and University of Regina English professor Andrew Stubbs, and reads like a collection from a seasoned and well established poet in his prime. Stubbs fills the beautifully written pages with wisdom, diversity, and detail. [...]

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Review: About Pictures by Terry Fenton

About Pictures is just that – a perfect companion for students, collectors, art-lovers, or gallery-aficionados. Reading at the 2009 Saskatchewan Book Awards from this nominated book, Fenton said “It’s about pictures, it’s got pictures, it’s short, and it’s only $20.” All selling-points, but the book covers an impressive range of material in a short span, comprising brief essays interspersed with over 30 beautiful glossy images. Fenton&rsquo [...]

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Review: House Beneath by Susan Telfer

The title of Susan Telfer’s first collection of poetry, House Beneath, is ripe with metaphorical possibilities. It suggests that readers will be privy to a story beneath the official story, that there is – or was – more going on than meets the public eye. [...]

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Review: Gabrielís Beach by Neal McLeod

“With the stories and the strength of our ancestors, we can find our home in the river again.” [...]

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Monday, June 8, 2009

Review of You by Gary Hyland

Reviewed by Joanna M. Weston – PoetryReviews.ca [...]

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Review: You by Gary Hyland

In the introduction to his latest book,You, celebrated Moose Jaw poet Gary Hyland declares that the relationship between poet and reader “fascinates” him. In the poems that follow he explores the various modes in which that seemingly simple pronoun, “you,” is deployed, and the diverse relationships – and “variations on relationships” – which spin upon it. [...]

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Review: Yellowgrass by Allan Safarik

I am always keenly interested in reading the poems of writers who have selected to live in small Saskatchewan towns – as have I — rather than our largest cities, and seeing how that experience flavours their work. Acclaimed Dundurn, SK writer Allan Safarik is among my favourite poets, and thus it’s always a treat when a new Safarik title turns up and he again illuminates that which is beautiful and profound and right before us, though we ourselves fail to see. [...]

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Review: Mongrel Love by Judith Krause

Judith Krause’s fourth collection of poetry takes the reader on a journey through local and exotic worlds. [...]

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Review: Land Marks: The Art of Dorothy Knowles

If members of the general public were asked to name a prominent Canadian landscape painter, I’d guess that they might identify a member of the Group of Seven or Emily Carr, but here in Saskatchewan we also have a number of landscape painters of prominence, and high on the list is Dorothy Knowles. [...]

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