Rasiqra RevulvaCephalopography 2.0 (Wolsak & Wynn, 2020)ISBN 978-1-989496084 | 104 pp | $20 CAD #CAROUSELreviews#USEREVIEWEDNESDAY Never has poetry felt so much like a marine biology-themed museum-cum-amusement park as it does in Rasiqra Revulva’s exuberant, endlessly clever Cephalopography 2.0 (Wolsak & Wynn, 2020). What doesn’t this debut collection offer? From Revulva’s take on traditional forms, to vispo, to crossword puzzles (yes, you read that right), the book is a deep-diver, as malleable and startling as the
JOHN NYMAN For My African Violet Between oscillation and explosion,an iris undone, your graceful fall a flick so swift unhingedand floating: sinkable, the thrust of piling upand the flutter of a tip of a feeler frenzied wanting.Let’s sally down my list: the measurable handshakes,a close furrow (grin to a parasite), chores,a strong caress sent to a friend like you, so in a bright timeI’ll blow further on. • • • Always look at me like
Karl Jirgens proceeds by paradox — with an outward-looking and self-reflexive gaze, with enthusiastically energetic aplomb — in this not-quite traditional review that echoes the stylistic elements of its subject: Ken Babstock’s poetry collection, Swivelmount (Coach House Books, 2020). ISBN 978-1-55245-4138 | 128 pp | $21.95 CAD #CAROUSELreviews#USEREVIEWEDNESDAY In preparing this review for CAROUSEL, I thought it’d be interesting if book reviews reacted rather than described or interpreted. After all, writing ought to open dialogues.
Lauren TurnerThe Only Card in a Deck of Knives (Wolsak & Wynn, 2020)ISBN 978-1-989496091 | 112 pp | $20 CAD #CAROUSELreviews#USEREVIEWEDNESDAY It is common enough to find a novel that clasps you by the hand, Nimue-like, draws you into its realm and will not let you leave; far rarer is the debut poetry collection that does this. Yet Lauren Turner’s The Only Card in a Deck of Knives (Wolsak & Wynn, 2020) manages it. Looped
Los Angeles artist Richard Kraft’s Here Comes Kitty: A Comic Opera is a wildly irreverent collage narrative that challenges at every turn. To create his dreamlike paper opera, Kraft worked directly over an issue of Kapitan Kloss — a Cold War comic about a Polish spy infiltrating the Nazis — superimposing a cast of strange new voices and characters on top of it. “A riot of images and words”, the resulting project is arbitrary, inventive and
Emily Skov-NielsenThe Knowing Animals (Brick Books, 2020)ISBN 978-1-771315333 | 104 pp | $20 CAD #CAROUSELreviews#USEREVIEWEDNESDAY Emily Skov-Nielsen’s debut poetry collection, The Knowing Animals (Brick Books, 2020), integrates the small, prosaic dramas of mundanity (“I’m bent over the cutting board slicing tomatoes / with a serrated knife — deciding if I should leave you”) and luxuriously lyrical imagery (“coltsfoot clambers / from concrete clefts, groundlings of the groundsel tribe, / lovers of rifts and shambles, larvae
Melanie Power looks at, and beyond, the mesmerizing lyricism of Emily Skov-Nielsen’s debut poetry collection The Knowing Animals (Brick Books, 2020) in this traditional review. With a steady hand, Power unearths the ecological concerns, the philosophical preoccupations, and the sharp snark from beneath the stunning surface of these poems. ISBN 978-1-771315333 | 104 pp | $20 CAD #CAROUSELreviews#USEREVIEWEDNESDAY As cerebral as they are embodied, these poems marry the ecological and the personal. The book is
Grammar is often relegated to the status of pedantic concern, if it is noticed at all. Yet in this experimental review of 4 books — spanning 32 years of Canadian poetry — Klara du Plessis wields the twin powers of scholarly attentiveness and literary imagination to drag the study of grammar out of drudgery and into a new vitality. #CAROUSELreviews#USEREVIEWEDNESDAY 1 Grammar — a suspension of disbelief in which rules repeat themselves, and words enter