The Scarborough (Michael Lista)

When Kenneth Goldsmith appeared on The Colbert Report to promote his book Seven American Deaths and Disasters, Stephen Colbert stated that reading the book (which consists of conceptual poems transcribing live news reports of events ranging in scope from the death of John Lennon to the World Trade Center attacks) felt vampiric. Goldsmith denied the […]

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Sad Peninsula (Mark Sampson)

“Yet how would death come now, if Japan surrendered tomorrow? Or the day after that? Was time not running out for death to slip into her stall and carry her away?” This is the worry of Meiko (her real, Korean name is Eun-young), a Korean “comfort woman” — one of the sex slaves of the […]

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Fractal Economies (derek beaulieu)

derek beaulieu’s Fractal Economies is less of a collection than a cross-section. It collects only a fragment of beaulieu’s extensive forays into concrete poetry (poetry in which the physical form of the poem is foregrounded, and its meaning or content is relegated to a lesser position, or absent altogether), instead of being comprehensive. beaulieu’s work […]

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Tell Them It Was Mozart (Angeline Schellenberg)

Angeline Schellenberg’s Tell Them It Was Mozart, her debut collection of poetry, concerns raising children on the autism spectrum. The Winnipeg author explores broad topics such as the conflicting and complex emotions of parenthood and how the responsibility of the situation, and its demands, intersect with the differing demands of other aspects in the modern world. […]

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Son of a Trickster (Eden Robinson)

The first book of a trilogy, Eden Robinson’s Son of a Trickster focuses on the tumultuous everyday life of Jared, a sixteen-year-old struggling to survive his family. His parents are separated and strung out, and his mom is downright dangerous (an odd mix of neglectful and overly protective). He keeps himself drunk or stoned just […]

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Dead Girls (Nancy Lee)

Dead Girls is a notch above the average first-book short-story collection in a number of ways. It is much darker than most character-focused collections: many of the stories concern women or young girls driven or lured into prostituting themselves, and in the background of each story unfolds a news report concerning serial killer Thomas Coombs, […]

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Journey with No Maps (Sandra Djwa)

The cult of author and artist P.K. Page grows ever larger with the appearance of Sandra Djwa’s biography. As the first and only Page biography, Djwa’s is by default the best, but often frustrating. By the time of her 2010 death at age 93, many Canadian critics and authors viewed Page as one of the […]

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The Guardians (Andrew Pyper)

With The Guardians, Toronto’s Andrew Pyper has produced a haunted house novel, a psychological thriller, and a coming-of-age story. With deft prose and pristine pacing, The Guardians is an intelligent and engrossing page-turner, despite some predictability. An abandoned house in the small town of Grimshaw serves as a lightning rod for tragedy. Four boys — […]

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Night Moves (Richard Van Camp)

Night Moves is Richard Van Camp’s fourth short story collection (he also authored a novel, graphic novels, and children’s books). Like his earlier collections, the stories focus on the fictional Northwest Territories community of Fort Simmer, based vaguely on Van Camp’s hometown of Fort Smith.  One of six books Van Camp released in 2015, Night […]

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