LEMON HOUND

More Bite Than Bark Since 2005
Reviews
Diego Báez on Paul Vermeersch

Diego Báez on Paul Vermeersch

Paul Vermeersch, Don’t Let It End Like This Tell Them I Said Something, ECW 2014 Like Y2K survivalists and street corner preachers, Paul Vermeersch seems to insist the apocalypse has been upon us for a while, now. However, unlike frightful doomsdayers, Vermeersch revels in this proclamation and, contrary to popular imagination, does not include cerebrophagic...
Danielle Bobker: Belle, A New View of 18th Century Racism

Danielle Bobker: Belle, A New View of 18th Century Racism

Belle: A New View of Eighteenth-Century Racism by Danielle Bobker  Belle (2013), directed by Amma Asante and written by Misan Sagay, tells stories that are by turns deeply familiar and completely fresh. You need only to have read a Jane Austen (1775-1817) novel or two, or seen any of the movie adaptations, to guess the...
Alex Porco on Gary Barwin: Moon Baboon Canoe

Alex Porco on Gary Barwin: Moon Baboon Canoe

In an interview from June 2010, Canadian poet Gary Barwin expressed his discomfort with being labeled as a surrealist writer and performer. In the early twenty-first century, the term Surrealism risks mystifying as much as it illuminates. “I always have some misgivings about the term when applied outside of its original context,” explains Barwin. [I]t...

Heather Cromarty on Chris Tysh: Our Lady of the Flowers, Echoic

Each English version of Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal bears the mark of its translator; each one swings so wildly that sometimes a poem is barely recognizable from one version to the next. “Aux objets répugnants nous trouvons des appas”; “We yield, enthralled, to things repugnant, base”; “In repugnant things we discover charms”; Robert Lowell’s...

Eric Schmaltz on Divya Victor: Things To Do With Your Mouth

Things to Do With Your Mouth (Les Figues, 2014) is full-throated and bursting. Published in April 2014 as part of TrenchArt: The Logistics Series by Les Figues Press, this is the newest book from Troll-Thread’s sharp-witted former co-conspirator, Divya Victor. With intent to interrogate the long history of fear of women’s voices, Victor employs appropriation and...
Daniel Zomparelli on Jon Paul Fiorentino: Needs Improvement

Daniel Zomparelli on Jon Paul Fiorentino: Needs Improvement

What is it to press against the norm? To push back against the bullies using language, to be the Steve Urkels of society? In Jon Paul Fiorentino’s sixth collection, he sets out to deconstruct the language of pedagogy and what it means to “not fit in.” To get a better understanding of the work, I...
Marianne Ackerman on Donna Tartt: The Goldfinch

Marianne Ackerman on Donna Tartt: The Goldfinch

Twenty pages into The Goldfinch (Little Brown and Company, 2013) I started having chest pains, accompanied by shortness of breath. My wrist tingled. I figured it must be something I ate, or maybe early signs of a heart attack. But the most obvious source of discomfort lay close at hand, no more than twelve, maybe...

Klara du Plessis on Redell Olsen: Film Poems

I have spent much of today mesmerized by online video clips. It’s the usual YouTube trail of one to the next, yet this is the future that awaits you too, when reading Redell Olsen’s newest work, Film Poems (Les Figues Press, 2014).  Film Poems is a collection of five poetic sequences – that is, unified...
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...
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.)...
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...
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...
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...
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...

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...

Max Bledstein on Omari Newton’s Sal Capone

Sal Capone: The Lamentable Tragedy of, a play by Omari Newton. MAI Centre, Montreal, 2013. By Max Bledstein The history of racial relations in North America has certainly been a topic of interest amongst filmmakers and playwrights in recent years, and one in which audiences have been happy to engage them. One need look no further...
Bronwyn Haslam on Margaret Christakos's Multitudes

Bronwyn Haslam on Margaret Christakos’s Multitudes

Multitudes, Margaret Christakos. Coach House Books, 2013. By Bronwyn Haslam  let’s push words into coming. gnash words into coming, into body. shove grammar onto parts. load coming into each. is it the threshold of coming or the deep thrash of asking? (Multitudes 13) *     *     * Like Christakos’s other work, Multitudes is sexy, excessive, slyly...
Nicholas Grider on Janice Lee's Damnation

Nicholas Grider on Janice Lee’s Damnation

Damnation, Janice Lee. Penny-Ante Editions, 2013 by Nicholas Grider In scientist Nicholas Humphrey’s recent book Seeing Red he describes two forms of “the present,” both of which Janice Lee’s Damnation explore in a kind of breathtaking inversion. According to Humphrey, there are two conscious presents: the first is an infinite number of infinitely small “physical”...

Heather Cromarty on Masha Tupitsyn’s Love Dog

Love Dog, Masha Tupitsyn. Penny-Ante Editions, 2013. by Heather Cromarty In the past year I’ve read several female-penned books that began life online. Female personal writing takes place more and more in the open conversation of the Internet, and then if it’s “successful,” converted to a more elite print medium. Kate Zambreno’s Heroines was a...

Alexander St Laurent on Blaise Morritz’s Zeppelin

Zeppelin, Blaise Morritz. Nightwood Editions, 2013. By Alexander St Laurent Blaise Morritz’s second collection, Zeppelin, is an intelligent and clever musing on the modern condition, or rather, the millennial condition. The poems explore the pitfalls of pop culture and materialism and how both of these elements might contribute to a sense of everlasting childhood. As...
Tanis MacDonald on Shawna Lemay's Hive: A Forgery

Tanis MacDonald on Shawna Lemay’s Hive: A Forgery

Hive: A Forgery,  Shawna Lemay. Self-published, 2012. Reviewed by Tanis MacDonald To say that Shawna Lemay’s poetic prose in Hive: A Forgery reminded me of Elizabeth Smart’s By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept may be to invite a weighty – or overblown – comparison of Smart’s classic to Lemay’s more recent text....

Paul Watkins on Vicuña and bissett: A Poetics of “Meditaysyun”

Spit Temple, Cecilia Vicuña. Trans. Rosa Alcalá. Ugly Duckling Press, 2012. hungree throat, bill bissett. Talonbooks, 2013. Review By Paul Watkins  As literary scholar Charles Bernstein states: “What interests me is a poetry and a poetics that do not edit out so much as edit in: that include multiple conflicting perspectives and types of languages...

Eric Schmaltz on The Dark Would: an anthology of language art

The Dark Would: anthology of language art. Ed. Philip Davenport. Apple Pie Editions, 2013. Review by Eric Schmaltz For years now many practitioners who have identified with uncreative writing and the Conceptual writing movement have appealed to Brion Gysin’s assertion that “poetry is fifty years behind painting.” The claim has prompted an array of contemporary...

Fazeela Jiwa on Maged Zaher’s Thank You for the Window Office

Thank You for the Window Office, Maged Zaher. Ugly Duckling Presse, 2012. Review by Fazeela Jiwa In Thank You for the Window Office, Maged Zaher’s writing echoes the short attentions and overstimulation of the Internet age. He offers an array of striking images and short phrases of the kind that might populate “Homer’s Twitter feed,”...
Nicholas Papaxanthos on Mary Ruefle: Writing is Writing

Nicholas Papaxanthos on Mary Ruefle: Writing is Writing

Madness, Rack, and Honey, Mary Ruefle. Wave Books, 2012. Trances of the Blast, Mary Ruefle. Wave Books, 2013. Review by Nicholas Papaxanthos “I always looked askance at writing on writing, but I’m intelligent enough to see that writing is writing.” — Mary Ruefle, from her introduction to Madness, Rack, and Honey Madness, Rack, and Honey...

Myna Wallin on Ann Shin’s The Family China

The Family China, Ann Shin. Brick Books, 2013. Reviewed by Myna Wallin On the cover of Ann Shin’s second collection of poetry, The Family China, a photograph shows the female head of a porcelain figurine being decapitated by the large swing of a hammer in mid-blow. This cleverly arresting image foreshadows what’s to come: fragility...

Zoe Sharpe on Kelli Deeth’s The Other Side of Youth

The Other Side of Youth, Kelli Deeth. Arsenal Pulp Press, 2013. Review by Zoe Sharpe Kelli Deeth’s The Other Side of Youth is a collection of acute and subtle short stories whose characters have reached various emotional thresholds. Here we have stories of longing, loss, and fragmented identity, recurrently within a gendered (female) experience. The...

Nikki Sheppy on Gillian Savigny’s Notebook M

Notebook M, Gillian Savigny. Insomniac Press, 2012. Review by Nikki Sheppy Winner of the 2013 Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, Gillian Savigny’s Notebook M explores the poetic dimensions of the scientific imaginary. Drawing on both the empirical and the invented, the poems consider nature a form of intelligent art and science an impassioned creative inquiry, as...
Alan Reed on George Perec's La Boutique Obscure

Alan Reed on George Perec’s La Boutique Obscure

La Boutique Obscure, Georges Perec. Trans. Daniel Levin Becker. Melville House, 2013 Review by Alan Reed La Boutique Obscure is a translation of the dream journal kept by Georges Perec between May 1968 and August 1972. Perec was one of the more prolific members of Oulipo (Ouvroir de littérature potentielle—roughly, the workshop of potential literature),...

Lise Gaston on Daisy Fried & Elizabeth Bachinsky

The Hottest Summer in Recorded History, Elizabeth Bachinsky. Harbour Publishing, 2013. Women’s Poetry: Poems and Advice, Daisy Fried. University of Pittsburg Press, 2013. Review by Lise Gaston Elizabeth Bachinsky’s fifth trade collection of poetry, The Hottest Summer in Recorded History, and Daisy Fried’s third collection, Women’s Poetry: Poems and Advice, are acutely aware of their...
Julija Šukys on Dany Laferrière's The World Is Moving Around Me: A Memoir of the Haiti Earthquake

Julija Šukys on Dany Laferrière’s The World Is Moving Around Me: A Memoir of the Haiti Earthquake

The World Is Moving Around Me: A Memoir of the Haiti Earthquake, Dany Laferrière. Trans. David Homel. Arsenal Pulp Press, 2013. by Julija Šukys   Writer Dany Laferrière found himself in a Port-au-Prince restaurant on January 12, 2010, when a catastrophic earthquake struck. It levelled much of the city, killed some 300,000 people and rendered...
Diana Jones-Ellis on Sarah Pinder's Cutting Room

Diana Jones-Ellis on Sarah Pinder’s Cutting Room

Cutting Room, Sarah Pinder. Coach House Books, 2012. by Diana Jones-Ellis Deeply immersed in an articulation of the materiality of objects, Sarah Pinder’s evocative and haunting collection, Cutting Room, often pushes this very materiality over the threshold toward instability. In “Not to Be Too Sharply Distinguished,” Pinder’s engagement with the romantic edges toward the erotic...
Jacob Wren on Jessica MacCormack's The See

Jacob Wren on Jessica MacCormack’s The See

The See, Jessica MacCormack. Paper Pusher, 2013. by Jacob Wren On the third page of The See, interdisciplinary artist Jessica MacCormack writes: I have been in therapy for a Very Long Time. I am waiting for “it” to be “over.” The past grows inside me. There is no place for it to exit. And we...
Théodora Armstrong's Clear Skies, No Wind, 100% Visibility

Théodora Armstrong’s Clear Skies, No Wind, 100% Visibility

 Clear Skies, No Wind, 100% Visibility, Théodora Armstrong. House of Anansi Press, 2013. by David Huebert Théodora Armstrong’s debut short fiction collection, Clear Skies, No Wind, 100% Visibility, is an evocative collection set in British Columbian locales from Osoyoos to Vancouver to Quadra Island. In this ambitious first book, Armstrong shows a knack for taking...
Nick Thran on Maps: Gibber and Everything Sings

Nick Thran on Maps: Gibber and Everything Sings

Everything Sings: Maps for a Narrative Atlas, Denis Wood. 2nd Edition. Siglio, 2013. Gibber, angela rawlings. 2012. by Nick Thran To simply reiterate that we are haunted by the devastation that human consumption has brought upon the earth. To simply reiterate that we are haunted as well by the toll that the infrastructures of consumption have taken on...
Tanis MacDonald on Kathryn Mockler's Onion Man

Tanis MacDonald on Kathryn Mockler’s Onion Man

Onion Man, Kathryn Mockler. Tightrope Books, 2011. by Tanis MacDonald The individual poems of Kathryn Mockler’s Onion Man, which hover between a novel in verse and a long poem sequence, appear on the page in vertical chunks of text, rarely taking up a whole page or even venturing out into a long poetic line. One reviewer has...
Alex Porco on Victor Coleman’s ivH: An Alphamath Serial

Alex Porco on Victor Coleman’s ivH: An Alphamath Serial

Victor Coleman, ivH: An Alphamath Serial, BookThug 2012 I can explain my meaning best by mathematics.– Ezra Pound Since the late 1960s, Victor Coleman has been committed to innovative poetic practices—from the serial poem to performance poetry (e.g., in 1978, under the name Vic d’Or, he released the album 33/3); from projective verse to acrostics...
Please, No More Poetry: The Poetry of derek beaulieu

Please, No More Poetry: The Poetry of derek beaulieu

Please, No More Poetry: The Poetry of derek beaulieu, derek beaulieu, ed. Kit Dobson. WLUP, 2013. by Eric Schmaltz With the release of Please, No More Poetry: The Poetry of derek beaulieu (edited by Kit Dobson), beaulieu has become the youngest author to have a collection published as part of the Laurier Poetry Series to...
Shannon Maguire's furl(l) parachute

Shannon Maguire’s furl(l) parachute

fur(l) parachute, Shannon Maguire. BookThug, 2013. by Eric Schmaltz Following up on her shortlist nomination for the 2011 Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Writing, Shannon Maguire–proving herself to be a stunning new voice in Canadian letters–has released her first trade collection fur(l) parachute. Prior to this release, Maguire has proven to be most industrious, producing...

Julie Bruck’s Monkey Ranch and Steven Price’s Omens in the Year of the Ox

Monkey Ranch, Julie Bruck. Brick Books, 2012. Omens in the Year of the Ox, Steven Price. Brick Books, 2012. by Myna Wallin Monkey Ranch is Julie Bruck’s third collection of poetry published by Brick Books, following The End of Travel (1999), and The Woman Downstairs (1993), which won the A.M. Klein Award for Poetry. Perhaps you...
Rachael Wyatt on Adam Dickinson's The Polymers

Rachael Wyatt on Adam Dickinson’s The Polymers

The Polymers, Adam Dickinson.  Anansi, 2013. by Rachael Wyatt This book attracted me, initially, with its use of polymer plastics as a conceit for drawing a collection together. Even before opening the book, possibilities abound: chemical structures are a beautiful, alien language and polymers are ubiquitous in everyday plastics as well as biologically, right down...
Amber Dawn's How Poetry Saved My Life

Amber Dawn’s How Poetry Saved My Life

How Poetry Saved My Life, Amber Dawn. Arsenal Pulp, 2013. by Heather Cromarty TO WRITE Given the task of writing a lecture on women and fiction in 1928, Virginia Woolf, while searching for first-hand historical documentation of women’s lives, found herself “looking about the shelves for books that were not there” (A Room of One’s...
Jocelyne Saucier's And the Birds Rained Down

Jocelyne Saucier’s And the Birds Rained Down

And the Birds Rained Down, Jocelyne Saucier. Transl. Rhonda Mullins, Coach House Books, 2012. by Adrienne Celt As I began organizing my thoughts for this piece, it became clear to me that a straightforward review structure – whether “summarize and contextualize” or “argue-summarize” or “summarize-examine-explain” – would not do justice to Jocelyne Saucier’s novel, which is...
Investigating “Empty Middles”: A Critical Review of Gail Scott’s The Obituary

Investigating “Empty Middles”: A Critical Review of Gail Scott’s The Obituary

The Obituary, Gail Scott. Coach House Books, 2010. by Martin Schauss Midway through the ludicrously lucid précis on the back of the folding front-cover of my edition of Gail Scott’s The Obituary (Coach House, 2010), I read the line: “But The Obituary is no whodunnit.” If you are familiar with Scott’s work, or have read...
How to Suppress Women's Writing: Joanna Russ

How to Suppress Women’s Writing: Joanna Russ

Bad Faith Denial of Agency Pollution of Agency The Double Standard of Content False Categorizing Isolation Anomalousness Lack of Models Response Aesthetics   I have been gathering found poems such as the one above for several years now. They are, in a sense, too easy and I’m wary of actually doing anything with them, but...