Tuesday, March 13, 2012

#29 DOOM: Love Poems For Supervillains by Natalie Zina Walschots

Spring 201


The poems employ highly specialized language, using constraints based on the speech patterns and brutality of their subjects. While the language is highly technical and dense, it becomes witty, intimate, and even erotic in its specificity. These poems address the results of abuses of power and taken together present a case study in the pathology of super-villainy.
Praise for Thumbscrews
"Natalie Zina Walschots [is] a writer who engages with the aesthetics of sadomasochism in order to generate elegant, sensual poetry that writhes inside the shackles of its own linguistic constraint... [she] treats each poem as a miniature, theatrical tableau—a “passion play,” in which she forces language to submit to her will, beating its grammar into a stupor of ecstatic nonsense."
-- Christian Bök, The Poetry Foundation
Natalie Zina Walschots' first book of poetry Thumbscrews (2007) won the inaugural Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry. Her poetry has appeared widely in literary magazines including Carousel, Broken PencildANDelion, Open Letter, Rampike, Matrix and dead gender. She holds an MA in English and Creative Writing from the University of Calgary and was the Managing Editor of both filling Station and dANDelion magazines. Walschots writes about music for Hellbound.caAlternative MatterAngry Metal GuyAbout Heavy Metal and Exclaim!. She is the Managing Editor of Canada Arts Connect, reviews editor for THIS Magazine, and co-founder of Golden Spruce Entertainment. She lives in Toronto. Visit her online at www.nataliezed.ca

#28 The Hard Return by Marcus McCann

Spring 201


The Hard Return is a broken list of metaphors for the human heart. Or it’s a troubling elegy for a disposable world. Or it’s something much less serious than that. Alternating between loving descriptions of 21st century excess and awkward social situations, Marcus McCann’s poems are sincere and ironic, sad and half-joking, often in the same instant.

Praise for Marcus McCann:
"From the startling metaphoric seize of the opening, the lines propel themselves full throttle, through sonic reverberations and imaginative mimesis."
--Stephanie Bolster, John Newlove Award Citation
Praise for Soft Where:
“This stunning book explores the possibilities of bringing image to life, written in the language of the people and soaked in a heart of sapphire. The jury was intoxicated by this book.”
--Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, jury citation

“Sexually, technically, and technologically charged, Marcus McCann’s poetry is invigorating and accessible to anyone with an imagination.”
--Ashley Dick, The Leveller

“Lock up your sons.”
--Tony Martins, Guerilla Magazine
Marcus McCann is the author of Soft Where and eight chapbooks, most recently The Glass Jaw and Town in a Long Day of Leaving. In Ottawa, he was the artistic director of the Transgress Festival, facilitator of the Naughty Thoughts Book Club and a host of CKCU’s Literary Landscapes. His work has been shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award and the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry, and in 2009 he was the winner of the John Newlove Award. He now lives in Toronto.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

#27 Grunt of the Minotaur by Robin Richardson

Fall 2011

Toronto’s Robin Richardson is a poet and illustrator who is pursuing an MFA in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College. Her work has appeared in many Canadian and American journals including CV2, Dandelion, The Berkeley Poetry Review and The Westchester Review.

Praise for Grunt of the Minotaur:

“Robin Richardson’s intense, quietly unsettling fables of the everyday are pitched in a jagged language uncannily tuned to the never-quite-sweet music of human history. These fresh, fire-bright poems are barbed blooms petaled with wise cautions and unexpected joy.”
—Kevin Connolly, author of Drift and Revolver

“A canvas explains nothing, only folds and musters light,” reflects Robin Richardson, poet of rare sharpness, for whom every page is a canvas rich in mystery. Flaunting a painterly attention to the seductive textures of menace—“pike smiling from a skillet,” “an arm offered up in buttermilk,” “crystal cups now dust which cuts the palms”—here are portraits, still lifes, fables and allegorical tableaux that enrapture the ear with the textures of language itself. Taxidermy, trussed birds, daguerrotypes, a crow-foot tub. This book makes ecstasy of ekphrasis, “each separate occasion rising for distinction in the lamp.”
—Suzanne Buffam, author of Past Imperfect and The Irrationalist

"The speakers in Grunt of the Minotaur are concerned with classification and cures. Instructions for “paying visits of condolence” include the wonderfully bodily “coo, pretend to give / a kiss when sniffing the seasoned marrow.” Richardson writes for the ear, eye and mouth—you’ll want to read these lush poems out loud."
—Matthea Harvey, author of Sad Little Breathing Machine and Modern Life

#26 Love Figures by Sam Cheuk

Spring 2011 


In his debut poetry collection, Sam Cheuk attempts to invent a new way of truth-telling.

Borrowing disparate ideas and modes ranging from self-censorship and identity performance, lyric poetry and phenomenology, Cheuk reverse-engineers the parlance of postmodernism in search of the primal motivation behind expression, all the while asking the question: is a lie a lie if the liar shows you how he lies?

Praise for Love Figures  
"Sam Cheuk's first collection, Love Figures, reveals the poet as a kind of detective in inner sanctum. Cheuk's wit shows in the movement of each trope and through moments of adroitness where both pain and joy meet in the same line. Get ready for Love Figures, as the poet aims continuously and hits the mark slantwise."
— Yusef Komunyakaa, author of Warhorses and Talking Dirty to the Gods

#25 Dance, Monster! Fifty Selected Poems by Stan Rogal

Spring 2011 


Drawing from a variety of sources including folksong, philosophy, linguistics, chaos theory, theatre and sexuality, Stan Rogal's poetry is a rollicking and adroit expression of the world in flux.

This selection gathers together fifty of Rogal's best poems from the last thirty years; it is sure to delight long-time fans and new readers alike.

Praise for Stan Rogal
"It is as though Rogal had snuck up on a whole regiment of stock cultural myths and assumptions, armed only with a folksong, imaginative muscle, abundant mother wit and a wicked talent for subversive wordplay: it's the surprise that enlivens; the trickster's art."
— Don McKay

"If there ever was a poet to articulate our collective death wish, Rogal is it."
Books In Canada

#24 Winterkill by Catherine Graham

Fall 2010 


Catherine Graham's new collection Winterkill completes the trilogy that includes her critically acclaimed previous books Pupa (2003) and The Red Element (2008).

Her poems always navigate the difficult paths between grief and memory, between intimacy and strangeness, with a disarming, surefooted grace.

These are Graham's most powerful, most affirming works to date.

#23 Tiny, Frantic, Stronger by Jeff Latosik

Spring 2010
"In Tiny, Frantic, Stronger (whose title is derived from one of the poet’s ‘insect elegies’), a slap shot leaves a “purple mouth” on a shin, days “lean against the crowd fence of other days,” a subway train is “a long, moody thing inside that grows like a vine,” and tomorrows come “dressed in newspaper, balancing a phone book.
"In this clever, heartbreaking first collection, no subject is so small it can’t hint at the ineffable, or so large it isn’t fraught with the everyday struggle of being alive. Equal parts architect, clown, mesmer, and armchair psychologist, Jeff Latosik is the very best kind of poet: an original."
Kevin Connolly, author of Drift and Revolver