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Poetry & Poetics
Karen Connelly: The Children

Karen Connelly: The Children

THE CHILDREN I feel them falling out of me, the children, like the passage of stars in the sky, the small fire denied by the fierce rising of the sun, the burning of my own life. They turn their small hands up to me sadly, they don’t know how to cry because they haven’t been...

David McGimpsey: One Poem

I WAS ALWAYS TOLD A POET SHOULD ONLY PUBLISH ONCE A YEAR, ON THE QUEEN’S BIRTHDAY AND ON THE SUBJECT OF THE QUEEN’S BIRTHDAY A government program seeks to leave poems in hospital waiting rooms so patients might read them and begin to understand there are worse things than diabetes. When Seamus Heaney passed away,...

Mary Dalton: Two Poems

APPLIQUÉ First having read the book of myths, they had begun to whisper, as imperceptibly as grief. Hearing the judges’ well-considered sentence, the atom bellies like a cauliflower; call it the refrigerator’s hum at night. On the most beautiful day for air strikes the season is called evening. The buildings are at their stations, untimely....

Brecken Hancock: Four Poems

BRECKEN Booze tides me. tv abides me. My tits slung astride me, I noose quiet to lie with me. My other husband’s a broom.   PROGRESSION BLUNTS EMPATHY Hush now, Mama, don’t say a word. Daughter’s gonna drink until you’re cured.   SYMPTOMS INCLUDE DISINHIBITION In lusting after their son, Sandy remembers her husband, young....

Robin Richardson: A Hedgehog in the Kitchen Keeps the Cockroaches at Bay

A HEDGEHOG IN THE KITCHEN KEEPS THE COCKROACHES AT BAY I love your world, he said, just keep it to yourself — I love your mouth. In a Star Wars themed fever dream I saw him lassoed by a solar flare and held there in a warmth I can’t provide. Blue light clicking upon waking,...
Divya Victor: Color: A Sequence of Unbearable Happenings

Divya Victor: Color: A Sequence of Unbearable Happenings

Color: A Sequence of Unbearable Happenings “The story reveals the meaning of what otherwise would remain an unbearable sequence of sheer happenings” — Hannah Arendt, Men in Dark Times 1 It was a nice try. It was a nice move that made the black move to white. A nice move that turned most things away...
Mary Ruefle: Trances of the Blast

Mary Ruefle: Trances of the Blast

Various. Precise. Small openings. A journey from one side of the hour to the other. This is not a review. This is also a movement. Like walking into spring while carrying two small dogs under arm and balancing ice cream cones. I thought, this is a cool noise, like ice cracking under the sand. Or...

Rebecca Olander: Return to Great Meadows: Tracking the Living and the Dead

RETURN TO GREAT MEADOWS: TRACKING THE LIVING AND THE DEAD   One goldfinch feather, veined               color of cosmos, coreopsis, primary shade, the definition of yellow.         Taken as a sign it comes along for the walk around the marsh, the mucky edges,           fallen trees downed for want of firm earth.   At the gaping center,...

Rob Fitterman: No, Wait. Yep. Definitely Still Hate Myself

Not to be found on any Griffin Prize shortlists any time soon, and yet I would argue that so far this is the book of the season. An uncomfortable bulls-eye and an instant conceptual writing classic. Sort of like sticking a taco up my nose while attempting to swim in a puddle.

Geoffrey Morrison: Lungfish

LUNGFISH I broke a roller-skate in the shade behind the cemetery: Gargoyle-grotto of a garbage can, a basketball court, The wool-grey metal backboards streaked with rust. Drifting across the three-point line, last year’s leaves. “Friends, this place bears the curse of Saturn.” And in the tobaccospit ditch, the flicker of a salamander Autumn came, and...

Trish Salah: Eulalia for Mother Night

EULALIA FOR MOTHER NIGHT Saint Able bombs to be a Barcelona called Chloe Saint Sometimes Soon to be Chloe accepted. An actor decides if detours, what’s arrived Are art is lunges male managed mind Student soma asks attitude of spirit birds Susana begs becoming clothes consolidated On experience from a far farm Pretoria painted Older...

Matthew Tierney: Radio Call-In No-Show

RADIO CALL-IN NO-SHOW Our Lady of Perpetual Help has new signage that peddles prayer requests ‘by appointment only.’ Only an atheist would bring up the choice of font. The point at which a passing car’s hubcaps seem to stall, then wheel backwards— that’s when you fall half in love. The tunnel light a stainless steel,...
Winner of Lemon Hound's First Poetry Prize

Winner of Lemon Hound’s First Poetry Prize

THEREAFTER by Melanie Siebert Thereafter the northern plains would be cattle country. I had paid off my younger self speaking of the highly contaminated water. The dust was slaloming through the postmodern footnotes. The sandhill cranes etc had refused treatment. A host country manipulated the climate to guarantee good vibes to visiting qualms. Given that...

Alessandro Porco: The Minutes XIX

The Minutes: XIX Let’s begin: research indicates it’s never too soon for the “new” boom cuz if you can suck it then you can sell it: zumba house flip villanelle festival sex tape fatback dust jacket glitter cream— virtue requires a certain ease or lease. If you can suck it, yes, then you can endow...

Melanie Siebert: Thereafter

Thereafter Thereafter the northern plains would be cattle country. I had paid off my younger self speaking of the highly contaminated water. The dust was slaloming through the postmodern footnotes. The sandhill cranes etc had refused treatment. A host country manipulated the climate to guarantee good vibes to visiting qualms. Given that the leaked materials...

Sheryda Warrener: We Bought a Little City

We Bought a Little City First, we remove the dreadful yellow awnings from the shop-fronts in the square. Brighten the streetlamps. Play our instruments for the dairy cows crowding the fence. We angle for more daylight, fill out the appropriate paperwork. Get down on hands & knees to clean out the ditches. We eat breaded fish for lunch,...

Claudia Radmore: argle bargle eructation

argle bargle eructation   ribbons of baby stars ….burning their way through ………..natal shells ……pinpoints of red …..on the outside ………….of a round greenish nebula ………….in a cavity carved ……….from galactic dustclouds …………infant stellar ancestrals wind ……….through a maze ….of dark clouds ……infrared images ………record their progress astral ultrasounds          forecast dates...

Alice Burdick: Terms and Conditions

TERMS AND CONDITIONS Remember your terms. They are final. It’s good to have a hook or teeth to hold onto the ideas. Reel em back with that kite movement, brain floating on its column. Spine shake, snake bones through the day. I will hold the endless count of rooms in the real estate of desire....
Lemon Hound Poetry Prize Shortlisted Poems

Lemon Hound Poetry Prize Shortlisted Poems

Our fabulous judge, Rae Armantrout, has selected the five finalists for our first poetry prize. The winner will receive $750. We’ll announce that winner Monday, April 7th. But, before then we will post all five finalists, one a day, because we think each of the finalists deserves to be read. So, let us entertain you....
Christine Walde: Two Poems

Christine Walde: Two Poems

BLACK ELECTRICITY Is this where it started for you From here the sudden shocks Hooks pulled back to reveal The onyx-furred tunnel Her voice calling out your nature Silent among the pines & that spiked head of some heaven Starry that cradled you Over the water & made you want Her body lightning You divined...
Eric Schmaltz on John Riddell: The Selected Fiction of John Riddell

Eric Schmaltz on John Riddell: The Selected Fiction of John Riddell

Writing Surfaces: The Selected Fiction of John Riddell (Wilfred Laurier UP, 2013) is an overdue and timely re-introduction of one of Canada’s most radical, enigmatic media experimenters and fictioneers. Riddell’s concretistic, playful, unreadable, procedural, and non-representational works are numerous and have been too often overlooked. Beginning his career in the early 1960s, his work appeared in...
Bukem Reitmayer on Vivek Shraya: God Loves Hair

Bukem Reitmayer on Vivek Shraya: God Loves Hair

They say Your skin is blue because You are infinite like the sky and the ocean of milk You rest on. I wish my skin was blue. So begins the piece entitled “Dear Vishnu” in Vivek Shraya’s playful and intimate collection of prose poem-like stories, God Loves Hair (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2014). Among brief flashes...
Joey Yearous-Algozin on Trisha Low: The Compleat Purge

Joey Yearous-Algozin on Trisha Low: The Compleat Purge

“After all: the ‘I’ is not to be expelled, but submitted to sacrifice.” —Nick Land, The Thirst for Annihilation: Georges Bataille and Virulent Nihilism In the current saturation of social media in which our daily confessions constitute only the generic projection of a self, The Compleat Purge (Kenning Editions, 2013) may mark the death of...
Waaseyaa’sin Christine Sy on Indigenous Literatures: The Politics of the Invitation

Waaseyaa’sin Christine Sy on Indigenous Literatures: The Politics of the Invitation

It may be argued that the field of literature, as an art, is marginalized in Canada in terms of disciplinary focus and financial support in comparison to say economics, politics, or science. The same may be said for literature as a cultural process, artifact, and product—the funding of literature and priority in funding literature is...
Waaseyaa’sin Christine Sy in Conversation with Vera Wabegijig

Waaseyaa’sin Christine Sy in Conversation with Vera Wabegijig

This conversation is based on an email exchange occurring between January 6 – 20, 2014. A glossary of anishinaabemowin (anishinaabe language, whose orthography does not employ capitals) is included at the end of the interview. A longer version of this interview can be found here.   Waaseyaa’sin Christine Sy (WCS): Language, our language is everywhere. I...
Geneviève Robichaud on Lucy Ives: Orange Roses

Geneviève Robichaud on Lucy Ives: Orange Roses

In Orange Roses (Ahsahta Press, 2013) there are surfaces and there are hidden stories, but the question seems to be: how can one excavate the surface and disclose something “natural” about the moment when language can only surmise an approximation of that moment? The epigraph by George Oppen corroborates this idea quite well: “approached the...
Elisa Gabbert on Mary Karr, Julia Cohen, and Tori Amos: Against Against Decoration

Elisa Gabbert on Mary Karr, Julia Cohen, and Tori Amos: Against Against Decoration

In an essay called “Against Decoration,” Mary Karr makes a case for using “decoration” in poetry – figurative language, sonic beauty – only in service of a greater purpose, what she takes to be the “primary purpose” of poetry: “to stir emotion.” “Delight in dense idiom or syntax,” she writes, is a secondary purpose (50)....
Zachariah Wells: Nailing Down the Hard Parts

Zachariah Wells: Nailing Down the Hard Parts

Pino Coluccio First Comes Love Suzanne Buffam Past Imperfect CANADIAN POETRY LOVES A GOOD debutante ball. Since the 1930s, we have heralded the arrival of new generations of poets in anthologies which are the textual equivalent of coming out parties: momentous to the participants and their families, but of very little long-term interest to serious...
Adam Sol on David B. Goldstein: Laws of Rest

Adam Sol on David B. Goldstein: Laws of Rest

LAWS OF REST Examine your clothing before going out, for you may be carrying something without knowing it. Do not place a wick into a bowl of oil, for then the oil will be drawn up and you will promote burning. Do not light with cedar bast or uncombed flax. Are you Nahum the Mede? So...
Michael Casteels: Two Poems and One Frog-Pond Sudoku

Michael Casteels: Two Poems and One Frog-Pond Sudoku

SONNET The irises arrive, serene and swallowing the orchard, the sultan seated beneath harvest. Pupils dilate and ripen in this hinterland, this salubrious work-in-progress. A pheasant integrates from treetop to treetop; the curtains part and there she is, oh trembling heart, oh hyperventilation! If I were a horse I’d equilibrate, if a rhinoceros, I’d radiate...
Max Karpinski on Jessica Bozek: The Tales

Max Karpinski on Jessica Bozek: The Tales

There is a reticence in the sentences of Jessica Bozek’s The Tales (Les Figues Press, 2013). This is a slow and heavy read, a difficult text that requires sitting and soaking. Bozek treads carefully, weaving a convoluted story out of sometimes contradictory and confusing prose poems. But The Tales is less about a narrative, less...
Kate Sterns on Claire Messud: The Woman Upstairs

Kate Sterns on Claire Messud: The Woman Upstairs

Nora Eldridge, the narrator of Claire Messud’s latest novel, The Woman Upstairs (Random House, 2013), is by her own description one of those quiet women—middle-aged, single, dutiful—who live “at the end of the third floor hallway, whose trash is always tidy, [and] who smiles brightly in the stairwell with a cheerful greeting.” (Cats are optional.)...
Jaime Forsythe: Two Poems

Jaime Forsythe: Two Poems

INSTRUCTIONS FOR HEAVY WEATHER after a collaboration with Alice Burdick You egg cup, you balloon animal, shatter and burst, dilute without fuss. Two celestial bodies nod hello while a bucket of paint overflows in the rain. Beach your testimony for a tried-and-true myth. Fiddlehead your hair for the ceremony? Not enough. In the wet glow,...
Trisha Low on Nathaniel G. Moore: Savage 1986-2011

Trisha Low on Nathaniel G. Moore: Savage 1986-2011

“The function of the wrestler is not to win: it is to go exactly through the motions which are expected of him.” —Roland Barthes, “The World of Wrestling,” Mythologies Let’s start with the weekend, because I have to start somewhere. So, okay, I’m writing this review at home, it’s a weekend, one that I’m jokingly...
Christine Miscione on John Berryman: The Dream Songs

Christine Miscione on John Berryman: The Dream Songs

DREAM SONG 4 Filling her compact & delicious body with chicken páprika, she glanced at me twice. Fainting with interest, I hungered back and only the fact of her husband & four other people kept me from springing on her or falling at her little feet and crying ‘You are the hottest one for years...
Eric Schmaltz on Stephen Collis: The Red Album

Eric Schmaltz on Stephen Collis: The Red Album

Let’s pretend: you review me, I review you. We read each other’s poems (barely) and whisper sweet nothings, banal praise. We attend ‘events’ to ‘see’ others and ‘be seen.’ This is all the theatre of criticism. Who did you pretend to be today? What writer did you pretend to read? What was your pretend honest...
Peter Gizzi: In Defense of Nothing: Selected Poems, 1987–2011

Peter Gizzi: In Defense of Nothing: Selected Poems, 1987–2011

– from the book: So the bird’s in the hand and now what? The penny shiny in the dark belly of mr. piggy. The day dawns and dawns and may be in trouble of actually going anywhere. Trees migrate secretly up- ward. They might be saying all we need to be here if we would...
George Murray: Three Poems

George Murray: Three Poems

PROPER PUNCTUATION Forecasts are for chumps, he told her, tapping the paper. Write that down in your notebook there. All angle and spangle, the weather punks its tattooed forehead into your face. A Scottish Kiss. This is what it means to be raw. No manufactured amp feedback or rusty strings or rebel lowercase. Now is...
Jason Freure: Two Short Takes on Eckerlin & Laporte

Jason Freure: Two Short Takes on Eckerlin & Laporte

In Jesse Eckerlin’s We Are Not the Bereaved (Frog Hollow Press, 2012), the land is a board game with no one left around who knows how to play it, except for the backwater hicks and storied eccentrics who cling like moss from another century to modern PEI. Eckerlin imagines the countryside as a space of...
Jessica Langston on Joseph Boyden: The Orenda

Jessica Langston on Joseph Boyden: The Orenda

Joseph Boyden’s newest novel The Orenda (Penguin, 2013) was published to what seemed universal acclaim. Kamal Al-Soylaylee writing in Quill & Quire’s October issue described it as a “magnificent literary beast”; The Globe and Mail’s Charles Foran called it “a great, heartbreaking novel, full of fierce action and superb characters and an unblinking humanity”; even the...
Prathna Lor on Ron Silliman: Revelator

Prathna Lor on Ron Silliman: Revelator

Opening with “Words torn, unseen, unseemly, scene,” one is immediately told how to read, what to do with Ron Silliman’s Revelator (BookThug, 2013).[1] Comprehension is not mandatory; cohesion is still abundant. Indeed, reading as a chaotic line of thought that shutters out, dissipates into harmonious cacophonies of scenes, sounds, voices, and visions, each line of...
J'Lyn Chapman on Wallace Stevens

J’Lyn Chapman on Wallace Stevens

WAVING ADIEU, ADIEU, ADIEU That would be waving and that would be crying, Crying and shouting and meaning farewell, Farewell in the eyes and farewell at the centre, Just to stand still without moving a hand. In a world without heaven to follow, the stops Would be endings, more poignant than partings, profounder, And that...
Emily Dickinson & Jen Bervin: Gorgeous Somethings

Emily Dickinson & Jen Bervin: Gorgeous Somethings

Far, far outside of MFA circles there is a poet whose poetic practice has breached the confines of the blank page to be etched on every available surface. The Far Outside poet famously left her poems–largely unread by hungry eyes of the 19th Century, other than a lucky editor of a literary magazine–tied in little...

Christine Shan Shan Hou: Three Poems

Sugar On Fruit is an Untidy Wish If only I could grow upward, I would never drown. A kite rich, penny-pinch. Some salad to suck it all in tremendously. A sinking belly turned upside down is a rising whale. There are allergies in all tree pollen and wanting. My disguise sat with me closely that...

Jon Paul Fiorentino: The Unfriending

You did a real stupid thing there for your career when you unfriended me. A real stupid thing. I’m establishing a movement. I recently exceeded 5000 friends. 5000. Real. Friends. Your lack of civility when it comes to open discourse astounds me. I can end you. I once made a quip that amused a very...
Shane Rhodes On Beauty

Shane Rhodes On Beauty

Welcome back to “On Beauty,” a series of interviews with poets about their relations to beauty.  For an introduction to the project, see poets on beauty. This month I invited Shane Rhodes to think about beauty.  At a reading from his new poetry book, X, which interrogates documents outlining Canada’s “Indian Policy,” he mentioned that...

Jake Kennedy on Claire Donato & David Wolach: Burial + Hospitalogy

Burial, Claire Donato. Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2013. Hospitalogy, David Wolach. Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2013. by Jake Kennedy Out of Lispector (possibilities/impossibilities of form)… out of Woolf (some kind of ruthless charting of suffering)… out of Waldrop (a crystalline philosophy of images)… here comes—with power—CD and her debut poemnovel Burial, particularly: a narrator’s lush, extended interior...

Colin Fulton on Roger Farr’s IKMQ

IKMQ, Roger Farr. New Star Books, 2012 By Colin Fulton I may be repeating myself here, but everybody loves Ludwig Wittgenstein. Between Johanna Drucker and Jan Zwicky (and that’s quite the between), there have been hundreds of works of poetry and poetry criticism that find their substance in direct reference to or mediations on the ideas...
Alex Porco in Conversation with David O'Meara

Alex Porco in Conversation with David O’Meara

Stitched Songs (7 Sept 2013 – 6 Nov 2013)   Alex Porco (AP): David, in your new book, A Pretty Sight (Coach House, 2013), the classical rhapsode is a central, recurring figure. The rhapsode is a figure of transport: he has the expressive power to move— or “possess”— his audience; at the same time, the rhapsode...
Elee Kraljii Gardiner: A Poem

Elee Kraljii Gardiner: A Poem

Elee Kraljii Gardiner directs Thursdays Writing Collective and is coeditor with John Asfour of V6A: Writing from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside(Arsenal Pulp Press, 2012), which was shortlisted for the 2012 City of Vancouver Book Award. She is also the editor of six books from the Collective, most recently The Stanza Project (Otter Press, 2013), an investigation of the intersection of architectural...

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