A sporadically appearing round-up of recent reviews & notable notices of New Star releases. In this installment, our recent Poetry & Literature.
rob mclennan, Canada’s leading man of lower-case letters, featured North of California St. by George Stanley on his eponymous blog on September 7, following it up with a lengthy interview with Stanley at The Conversant. North of California St. also made mclennan’s 2014 Rrrrecommended rrreading list. South of the border, the American Poetry Foundation featured San Francisco native Stanley’s new book on their Harriet blogsite. New York’s Poetry Project Newsletter No. 238 (February-March 2014) ran Stacy Szymnaszek’s rave about Stanley’s previous book, After Desire. “One of the most unique ears in poetry and one of the most fluid imaginations. .. . A delightful shift from Stanley’s previous collection, Vancouver: A Poem, and a great companion volume. .. . My copy is already worn out.” (Link to PDF, review on page 12)
Colin Fulton (Graduate Studies, Concordia) reviews IKMQ, Roger Farr’s 2012 Dorothy Livesay finalist on Sina Queyras’s Lemon Hound blogsite. “.. . hilarious, probing, and unique in how it deploys the often-tired Wittgensteinian tenets of ‘language-as-game’ and ‘meaning-as-use.’ In fact, I think IKMQ should be handed out to poets who are considering reading or mentioning Wittgenstein as a kind of contraceptive device — because whether Farr intended this or not (and I’d be interested to know, one way or the other), his poems do what Wittgenstein never quite managed: they look at things independently of us.” [Editor’s note: Yes, he did.] Over at the Rusty Toque, Andrew McEwan (Ryerson) reveals that the notional element ludibrium holds the key to understanding Farr’s peri-Oulippean project. “What are we to make of a book that hints at its procedural poetics yet tells us, nevertheless, to disregard it in favour of the pleasure of the reading experience?”
About that cover for Posh Lust by Louis Cabri, designer Oliver McPartlin ‘splains himself on the Literary Press Group b’log. .. . Edgy, urban SubTerrain gets out to the light-industrial ‘burbs in its Spring ’14 issue, as Shazia Hafiz Ramji reads Peter Culley’s Parkway. “Suffused with impulses of generosity, loyalty, and discovery, all of which can be found in moments of laughter, nostalgia or learning.” South of the imaginary border, Cascadian writer / critic Paul E. Nelson on Parkway and Culley’s Hammertown project., with links to segments from an interview Nelson conducted w/ Culley last summer. .. . Bert Almon reviewed “Véhicule poet” Ken Norris’s Rua da Felicidade for the Spring 2014 issue of the Montreal Review of Books. “His best work in years,” is his conclusion.
Art Review columnist Maria Lind discovers Lisa Robertson (XEclogue; Debbie: An Epic; The Weather) in the Summer 2014 issue. Nicholas Bradley of UVic on George Bowering’s essay collection, Words, Words, Words in BC Studies 183, Autumn 2014.: “Bowering’s charm is winning, his tone is comical throughout.” Reviewing Michael Tregebov’s comic novel The Shiva, Richard J. Lane of Vancouver Island University, in the Spring 2014 University of Toronto Quarterly, writes: “Fast-paced dialogue .. . drives Tregebov’s novel at breakneck speed. .. . deserves repeated rereading, as this powerful voice in Canadian literature, while speaking in many sarcastic tongues, delivers an ethical punch that will be felt long after his book is set down.”