LEMON HOUND

More Bite Than Bark Since 2005
Monthly archive January, 2010

Nick Thran: The Lines That Get us Through the Week

The image is from artist/poet Peter Sacks’ recent exhibit at the Paul Rogers 9W/ Gallery in New York. Poems and newspaper clippings appear in various paintings almost fossilized onto the canvas. A recent post by head Lemon Hound Sina Queyras on Harriet, “The Lines We Carry,” took a moment to list some of the lines...

Unleashed Unleashed At Last

Unleashed by Sina QueyrasDepartment of Critical Thought No. 2Experience a little time travel as BookThug presents our final book of the 2009 year. You can also experience a little time travel reading the book itself, as you follow Queyras for four years of her experiment in thinking about literature & art via her blog. Started...

Who Cares? or, Reviewing Humanitarianism

In an article titled, “What will your Haiti relief donation go toward?” CNN put together a list of the best places to send your humanitarian dollar. So many choices should stump us because, as Bill Quigley points out, Haiti has the most nongovernmental organizations of any country in the world. Given such a rich set...

Sachiko Murakami — Wee Interview with Angela Hibbs

            This week I had a little chat with Angela Hibbs, the author of the poetry collections Passport (DC Books 2006) and Wanton (Insomniac 2009). Recently moved from Montreal, Hibbs now lives in Toronto. I sometimes get a little impatient with the lyric narrative; its small questions, its predictable mysteries....

On Reviewing: Vanessa Place

LH: What do you think the purpose of a review is? If you also write about books on a blog, why? What does blogging let you do differently? VP: The purpose of a review is to discriminate. Discrimination is how we find good friends and know which strangers to shoot on sight. LH: If you...

The Cat Came Back

Do you have your NFB iPhone app? It’s pretty awesome.

“Mentor, Tormentor” (1 of 3)

Weinstein, Debra. Apprentice to the Flower Poet Z.. New York: Random House, 2004. It may be a touch of writerly narcissism, a latent sadomasochistic streak, or simply the need to commiserate, but as a former creative writing student, I find few novels more appealing than those that explore the triumphs and traumas of being a...

On Reviewing: Steven W. Beattie

LH: What do you think the purpose of a review is? If you also write about books on a blog, why? What does blogging let you do differently? SB: There are those who believe that book reviews should confine themselves to a description of what a book is and avoid any attempt at evaluation. This...

MLA 2009 Scenes in Philadelphia – Part 3 (of 3) – The Off-Site Reading

Some people dislike marathon readings. I like them a lot. At this point I’ve attended a couple of the MLA Off-site readings, two in DC, two in Philadelphia, one in San Diego. The readings are an all-too-rare opportunity to step into a room & recognize a sea of faces. Normally that happens only at funerals...

Nikki Reimer: Meredith Quartermain on a Nomados Moment

Small press literary publishers Nomados (Peter & Meredith Quartermain) have been publishing since 2002. They released their 33rd chapbook, The Ends of the Earth by Jacqueline Turner, this past December. Kootenay School of Writing and Nomados will co-present a launch, reading & party: Nomados Moment on January 30 in Vancouver. Below is my email conversation...

Nick Thran: D-Sisive

A few years ago I was employed as a bookseller in Toronto, working my least favourite day around this time of year, Inventory Day. We had to scan every book in the store with a red electronic pen. It made a beep whenever a book was scanned into the system, that I’d hear in my...

On Reviewing: Marjorie Perloff

LH: What do you think the purpose of a review is? If you also write about books on a blog, why? What does blogging let you do differently? MP: I take the purpose of book reviews to be description and evaluation. By description, I mean that the reviewer must try to convey to the readers...

The National Maclean’s Top Ten Top Ten of the Decade

As 2009 neared its end, Best Canadian Books of the Decade lists abounded. The National Post and Maclean’s declared in their lists that “Historical fiction is one of the dominant themes within CanLit” and described the “national historical imagination.” Such rankings seek to order what might otherwise seem a chaotic world of overlapping and conflicting...

Small Press Profile: Snare Books

This week I caught up with Jon Paul Fiorentino, publisher of Snare Books, to chat very briefly about Snare. Jon Paul is also publisher of Matrix magazine and a fine poet and novelist, and teacher. I was around in Montreal when JPF was getting Snare up and running, helping out a bit with the publication...

Uncreative Writing: A Talk By Kenneth Goldsmith

Friday, January 29, 4:00 PM  EV 1.1605 Engineering, Computer Science & Visual Arts Complex Concordia University 1515 St. Catherine St. West Montreal, Quebec Kenneth Goldsmith’s writing has been called “some of the most exhaustive and beautiful collage work yet produced in poetry” by Publishers Weekly. Goldsmith is the author of ten books of poetry, founding...

On Reviewing: Elizabeth Bachinsky

LH: What do you think the purpose of a review is? If you also write about books on a blog, why? What does blogging let you do differently? EB: To my mind successful reviews identify works and discuss them within their own framework or tradition; the reviewer—and his or her opinion of the work—is nearly...

A New Life for Old Words

It is rare to attend a public reading and hear a writer present a text they did not write themselves. Readings are often intended as a forum for writers to present new work and to attract an audience for their own creative practices, and to give the public a chance to hear new local writers....

A New Life for Old Words

On Reviewing: Maureen N. McLane

LH: What do you think the purpose of a review is? If you also write about books on a blog, why? What does blogging let you do differently? MM: I don’t know what the purpose of all reviews might be, but the purpose of the reviews I’ve written has tended to be: to make my...

MLA 2009 Scenes in Philadelphia – Part 2

After the “Very Contemporary” panel I joined poets Ron Silliman & Bob Perelman for a late afternoon lunch. It was 4 in the afternoon, & we ate like we were about to run a marathon, except in our case it was the poetry marathon that night. The poets were wonderfully generous conversationalists, but I’ll defer...

Nikki Reimer: Make Mine Specific! : (a response to Stuart Ross)

In “Make mine miscellaneous!” which originally appeared in SubTerrain (#53) and on the blog Hunkamooga, Stuart Ross discusses his recent experiences as a juror on the Canada Council for the Arts poetry grants to emerging writers, and kvetches about the volume of “Project” or “Theme” books being proposed: “But I ask: Why so many stinking...

Nick Thran: The Length of the Line

Talk turned quickly to Larry Levis during a recent post-lecture Q&A with poet Philip Levine, who, in one of his many, many functions, was Levis’ early teacher and lifelong friend. Levis, who passed at the age of 50, had, with his final three books (Winter Stars, The Widening Spell of the Leaves and the posthumous...

On Reviewing: Christian Bok

LH: What do you think the purpose of a review is? If you also write about books on a blog, why? What does blogging let you do differently? CB: Reviewers are like the crossing-guards of literature—providing traffic-signals (if not hazard-warnings) for readers who might like to step off the curb, but need to know where...

The Decline and Fall of Reviewing, or, Criticism Criticism

Ray Hsu is the author of the forthcoming Cold Sleep Permanent Afternoon, the second book in an unfinished trilogy. The first book, Anthropy, won the Gerald Lampert Award. While teaching for two years in a US prison, he founded the award-winning Prison Writing Workshop. He now teaches creative writing at the University of British Columbia....

On Reviewing: Aaron Kunin

LH: What do you think the purpose of a review is? If you also write about books on a blog, why? What does blogging let you do differently? AK: Attention is part of it. Sorting. Valuing. In fact, reviewing books isn’t too different from writing them. The main purpose is to make it possible for...

Sachiko Murakami: Spring?

Spring is just around the corner. At least, this is what I keep telling myself; it’s January in Toronto, I am a recently transplanted Vancouverite. I am a wimp in the face of winter. It’s just around the corner, right? Already we have at least half an hour more of sunlight than we did at...

Helen Hajnoczky :To Charge or Not to Charge?

I recently published a chapbook, Brocade Light, through Montreal’s new feminist small press, Tente, run by Angela Carr and Bronwyn Haslam. Haslam was able to arrange a launch of the chapbook in Calgary when she came to visit over Christmas. When I arrived at the reading I was surprised by how lovely the hand-stitched, hot-stamped...

MLA 2009 Scenes in Philadelphia – Part 1

The MLA took place in Philadelphia during the last few days of 2009. I felt lucky to be there. Attendance was visibly hurting because of the terrible economy. Hiring freezes kept away job seekers, while vanishing travel funds kept away everyone else. Some poets were resourceful and managed to attend by serving on interview committees...

On Reviewing: Evie Shockley

LH: What do you think the purpose of a review is? If you also write about books on a blog, why? What does blogging let you do differently? ES: From the perspective of the reader of reviews, I would say their purpose is to give one’s readers enough information about a work for them to...

Nikki Reimer : But is there a market for that? Or, please write to your minister

Should poets be concerned if poetry is considered a “specialized interest”? Do they need to worry about whether their poems warrant “consumption”? Does poetry deliberately resist its own marketability, and the idea of culture as commodity? I’d been musing over the ramifications of the following exchange:P: So tell me about this book you wrote?Me: Well,...

Nick Thran: Gerhard Richter/John Ashbery

The other week I had the privilege of spending time with the work of two of my favourite contemporary artists. First was a trip through the most recent abstracts of Gerhard Richter at the Marian Goodman Gallery; second was a reading at New York University by John Ashbery from his two most recent single volumes,...

On Reviewing: Matthew Zapruder

H: What do you think the purpose of a review is? If you also write about books on a blog, why? What does blogging let you do differently? MZ: I tried to articulate what I think the purpose of a review is in a recent article I wrote for the Poetry Foundation. Basically, I was...

On Reviewing: Rob Winger

LH: What do you think the purpose of a review is? RW: For the most part, I think reviews let conversations begin. In their best incarnations, they provoke and promote discussion not only about writing, but also about those ideas that inform the writing. LH: If you write reviews, how would you describe your approach,...

On Reviewing: Mark Wallace

LH: What do you think the purpose of a review is? If you also write about books on a blog, why? What does blogging let you do differently? MW: The purpose of a review depends a bit on its length and the kind of publication it’s in, but generally speaking I feel like the main...

On Reviewing: Michael Turner

LH: What do you think the purpose of a review is? If you also write about books on a blog, why? What does blogging let you do differently? MT: I’m not sure I want to address the question of “purpose,” though I will echo what many have said about a review being an attempt at...

On Reviewing: Jonathan Ball

LH: What do you think the purpose of a review is? If you also write about books on a blog, why? What does blogging let you do differently? JB: The purpose of a review is to describe the book. There is a tradition of reviews being evaluative, but I don’t feel that this is their...

On Reviewing: Jennifer Scappettone

LH: What do you think the purpose of a review is? If you also write about books on a blog, why? What does blogging let you do differently? JS: In the utopian sense, the purpose is to engage in a more profound dialogue with another writer than can be had in pre- and post-reading moments,...

On Reviewing: Ange Mlinko

LH: What do you think the purpose of a review is? AM: At its most basic, I guess, the purpose of a review is to arouse appetite in the reader. LH: If you write reviews, how would you describe your approach, or method? Do you offer or engage in exegesis, theoretical, academic, reader response, close,...

On Reviewing: Jacob McArthur Mooney

LH: What do you think the purpose of a review is? If you also write about books on a blog, why? What does blogging let you do differently? JMM: The purpose of book reviewing is to boost good literature. That’s not to say that the purpose of each and every individual review is to act...

Helen Hajnoczky: A New Life for Old Work

      At a recent reading here in Calgary, poet Stephanie Davis took the stage and announced that she planned to read to us from her notebook, in which she had pasted Yeats’ “A Dialogue of Self and Soul.” Davis mused that since the poem was about a young man coming of age, she thought it...

On Reviewing: Annie Finch

LH: What do you think the purpose of a review is? If you also write about books on a blog, why? What does blogging let you do differently? AF: The purposes of a review are to bring attention to a book and to help readers better understand or appreciate it.  Blogging is a wonderful invention...

On Reviewing: Gregory Betts

An Inter-review, including on Mathew Timmons’ Credit LH: What do you think the purpose of a review is? If you also write about books on a blog, why? What does blogging let you do differently? GB: Pre-blogger Bertram Brooker argued that the role of the critic is “to clarify for the public the artist’s aims...

On Reviewing: Anselm Berrigan

LH: What do you think the purpose of a review is? If you also write about books on a blog, why? What does blogging let you do differently? AB: I think the purposes of a review are multiple, and begin or may begin as a record of the reviewer’s experience with the book under consideration....

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