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Nightwood Editions - September 10, 2008 - 8 Comments

The Love Song of Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Love Song of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Sharon McCartney

Reviewed by Diane Tucker

When choosing a book to review, I was drawn right away to Sharon McCartney’s The Love Song of Laura Ingalls Wilder. The cover image — a placid cat surrounded by stately circles of dancing household implements, broom, hatchet, washtub — awoke in me the old thrill of Garth Williams’ lyrical and serene Little House illustrations. I saw Laura living in the sod house, Carrie chasing blackbirds off the corn, Mary resplendent in the new dress Ma makes her to leave for blind school. Ah…I was twelve again.

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Nightwood Editions - July 29, 2008 - 52 Comments

Splitting Off

Splitting Off by Triny Finlay

Reviewed by Shane Neilson

I want debuts to be unheralded, to assert that they are more than debuts, they are the manic statements of a veteran. I want debuts to pronounce, to pontificate, but in an assured, metaphoric way; I want debuts to be meteors. Much of my time, and I imagine your time, is already devoted to established poets. The neophyte must say, Lookit me, Lookit me, it must reward attention.

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Nightwood Editions - February 04, 2008 - 16 Comments

radiant danse uv being

radiant danse uv being edited by Jeff Pew & Stephen Roxborough

Reviewed by Maria Scala

This collection honouring Canadian poet bill bissett features work from more than 80 poets. The writers come from various backgrounds and writing traditions, yet all share an immense affection for the man who, as Christian Bök so aptly points out: “has misspelled his way so deeply into the hearts of readers everywhere…” The poetic tributes, along with their accompanying anecdotes (appearing at the back of the book), allow readers to gain a deeper understanding of bissett’s life and work, along with his influence on contemporary Canadian poetics.

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Nightwood Editions - June 26, 2007 - 1 Comment

The Rush to Here

The Rush to Here by George Murray

Reviewed by Alessandro Porco

George Murray’s fourth collection of poetry, The Rush to Here, is a collection of 57 sonnets that employ a poetic device Murray describes as thought-rhyme. “Instead of rhyming ‘night’ with ‘fight’,” explains Murray in interview, “I can ‘rhyme’ it [night] with any of a series of [word] associations.” For instance, “night” may rhyme with “the synonym ‘evening,’ the antonym ‘day,’ the homonym ‘knight,’ the anagram ‘thing,’ a synonym of a homonym ‘soldier’ (for ‘knight’), a homonym of an antonym ‘dais,’ [and even] across phraseology and idiom ‘silent,’ etc.” Thus, the “sonic” value of rhyme, whether euphonic (perfect-rhyme), dissonant (half-rhyme), or somewhere in-between (assonance), is no longer a determining criteria for rhyme-word selection. In fact, Murray’s use of thought-rhyme is prompted by a general dissatisfaction with what he refers to as “the faux Elizabethan sing-song sound” produced by the more-commonly deployed conception of rhyme-as-aural-phenomena (“Interview,” Northern Poetry Review). Before discussing some of collection’s recurring ideas and its better poems, I would like to begin by briefly illuminating philosophical-aesthetic issues underpinning Murray’s though-rhyme device.

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Nightwood Editions - January 15, 2007 - 3 Comments

Home of Sudden Service

Home of Sudden Service by Elizabeth Bachinsky

Reviewed by Liam Ford

“Welcome to the Valley Gothic,” smirks the inside cover flap of Elizabeth Bachinsky’s Home of Sudden Service, like a greasy, ursine man in a dirty white cube van (with tinted windows) prowling the local high school.  Turn the pages and you’ll find all the horrors that fill the minds of overworked and overwrought suburban parents: teen pregnancy (“For the Teen Moms at the Valley Fair Mall”), murder and abduction (“Wolf Lake”), missing children (“Sometimes Boys Go Missing”), teen sex (“Of a Place”), young love (“Outcasts,” “For the Punk Rock Boys”), more teen sex (“At Fifteen,” “St. Michael”), juvenile deliquency (“To a Future Delinquent,” “B & E”), and even more teen sex (“The Diner of Her Heart”).  Surprisingly, you won’t find the unctuous pedophile, but the other caricatures of suburban personality types will seem familiar to anyone who has seen Fubar, watches the news, or The Trailer Park Boys.

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Nightwood Editions - April 02, 2006 - 3 Comments

Miraculous Hours

Miraculous Hours by Matt Rader

Reviewed by Greg Santos

The box of matches on the cover of Matt Rader’s first collection of poems, Miraculous Hours, evokes the fierce, combustible nature of his work. “Prologue” sets the tone for the book by having walls tortured in order for them to talk:

Then, I choose a hammer
and drive a six-inch spike
through the gyprock.

The dog digs under the fence.

A bird flies into the window.

A small red blister
at the site of the wound.
A whisker of blood.

      My eyelids twitch.

      The walls are ready to talk.
(9)

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