Lazy Bastardism (Carmine Starnino)

The actual subjects of the individual essays in Lazy Bastardism, Carmine Starnino’s latest collection of critical prose, remain secondary to the book’s primary subject: critical prose itself. Fearing inept readers, Starnino begins with a prologue excerpting an interview with Patrick Warner, in which Starnino states that “To despise criticism . . . is to despise […]

Read More

Touch to Affliction (Nathalie Stephens)

Nathalie Stephens’s Touch to Affliction is similar to There by Roy Miki (see review here); however Stephens is more successful at marrying the poetic and political together. Although the book suffers from a similarly joyless approach, Stephens pays much more attention to craft, sentence by sentence. There’s a surrealism and imagism in the background of Stephens’ […]

Read More

There (Roy Miki)

There is Roy Miki’s first book of poetry since 2001’s Surrender (which won the Governor General’s Award for Poetry). In between, Miki authored a non-fiction book, and seems to have remained very much in the academic mode while writing There. Miki’s interest in theory is even more evident here than in his previous work, both […]

Read More

Don’t Tell Me What to Do (Dina Del Bucchia)

Dina Del Bucchia’s debut collection of fiction follows three outstanding, hilarious, intelligent poetry books and displays a good deal of the same insightful wit. Del Bucchia’s stories are similarly bold, brash, and self-assured. The highlight of Don’t Tell Me What to Do is the short story “Nest,” in which Sara, an architect designing luxury doghouses, […]

Read More

The Making of Zombie Wars (Aleksandar Hemon)

Joshua Levin wants to see himself as the hero of his story. As an American hero, a Hollywood star battling time and tide, or at least a ceaseless flow of zombies — like Major Klopstock in Levin’s perpetually unfinished screenplay Zombie Wars. But Levin isn’t a hero. He’s one of the zombies. Throughout Aleksandar Hemon’s […]

Read More

Pockets (Stuart Ross)

“It is marvellous how everything is connected,” says the narrator of Pockets, and that statement operates as a mini-review of the novel itself. The story unfolds in short, poetic paragraphs that offer surreal snapshots. In this way, Ross develops a fragmentary, dreamlike novel that is startling, sometimes silly, and marbled with melancholy. “I stood in […]

Read More

Snowball, Dragonfly, Jew (Stuart Ross)

Snowball, Dragonfly, Jew is Stuart Ross’s first novel and seems tame compared to his previous book, the short story collection Buying Cigarettes for the Dog. That’s not to suggest that Ross hasn’t produced a moving and funny novel, but that he’s not extending his talents to their limit. The novel explores how the historical trauma of the […]

Read More

The Jill Kelly Poems (Alessandro Porco)

The Jill Kelly Poems is a whimsical book in which Porco takes as his muse the actress Jill Kelly, who has appeared in over 400 films, including Prettiest Bikini I Ever Came Across, Prettiest Tits I Ever Came Across, and the 33rd installment of the apparently popular 100% Blowjobs series. Porco also writes about other […]

Read More

We Go Far Back in Time (Nicholas Bradley)

In February 1976, Al Purdy, then writer-in-residence at the University of Manitoba, wrote to Earle Birney. “I’m in mid-winter Wpg. blues. Depressed as hell. Great time to write you, eh?” A few weeks later, Purdy reported that he was “drinking far too much. But a bottle helps get me thru the winter and Wpg, so […]

Read More