Top Ten Things Wrong With NP’s Critique-let of Erin Moure

(Because Reimer never met a fray she didn’t belatedly jump on.)

“Cryptic without being particularly interesting, stricken with various political and linguistic theories, and barren of the sort of grace one typically looks to poetry to provide, it’s all too easy to take a pass on.”

1. Use of the adjective barren in a micro-review of a woman. (But at least they didn’t call her hysterical!)

2. Multiple nominations for the GG seen as a bad thing.

3. Assumption that readers of poetry are looking for “grace.” (When I’m in the mood for a little grace, I go to the ballet. Or think about my grandmother. Or watch my cat eviscerate a mouse. Or read Hallmark cards. I’d like to suggest that there are many others who aren’t interested in graceful poetry.)

4. “Without being particularly interesting.” According to whom? By what criteria, and what evidence?

5. “Stricken…..with various….theories.” OMG, theory! Quick, somebody, medic!

6. Moure held up as a straw figure to explain poetry’s lack of mass audience.

7. Moure given the “nod for being so prolific and so honoured.” Oh, so it’d be ok if her output was smaller.

8. Seriously, can we call a moratorium on descriptors of women artists that reference the womb?

9. The editors dislike of politics and/or linguistics as a component of poetics. Because that makes it too “cryptic.”

10. “…it’s all too easy to take a pass on.” How did your editors let that awkward sentence pass (on) by (them)?


Nikki Reimer is the author of [sic] (Frontenac House, 2010). She lives in Vancouver, where she volunteers for the Kootenay School of Writing collective and chronicles the East Van Cats.

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