From the Archive: Dash Shaw Interview (CAROUSEL 39)

From the Archive: Dash Shaw Interview (CAROUSEL 39)

“I wanted to be destroyed … and reborn.” Dash Shaw credits these words to a tattered old comic book, near the end of Cosplayers, a recent collection of his own comics about fan culture, cartooning history, creativity, and female friendship. Shaw’s teen girl protagonists have lucked into a stash of funnybooks by the legendary Jack ‘King’ Kirby (1917–1994), co-creator of the Fantastic Four, Captain America, and, in this instance, the 2001 comic book adaptation. Heedless

Read More

USEREVIEW 036: A Colossal Problem

USEREVIEW 036: A Colossal Problem

There was supposed to be a review of Jeremy Colangelo’s debut short fiction collection Beneath the Statue (Now Or Never Publishing, 2020), but due to unforeseen circumstances, there will be none. To find out what led to this utter catastrophe, please read on. ISBN 978-1-98968-910-3 | 184 pp | $19.95 CAD #CAROUSELreviews#USEREVIEWEDNESDAY Dear Jade Wallace, Reviews Editor for CAROUSEL, Thank you for sending me a review copy of Jeremy Colangelo’s debut short fiction collection, Beneath

Read More

USEREVIEW 035 (Capsule): I Know Something You Don’t Know

USEREVIEW 035 (Capsule): I Know Something You Don’t Know

Amy LeBlancI Know Something You Don’t Know (Gordon Hill Press, 2020)ISBN 978-1-928171-97-3 | 100 pp | $20.00 CAD #CAROUSELreviews#USEREVIEWEDNESDAY The poems of Amy LeBlanc’s debut poetry collection, I Know Something You Don’t Know, are as morally elusive as the best and grimmest old fairy tales, but also as narratively destabilized as we’ve come to expect contemporary poetry to be. Danger lurks in the empty spaces between every stanza break, but these poems offer no false

Read More

From the Archive: Paige Cooper (CAROUSEL 38)

From the Archive: Paige Cooper (CAROUSEL 38)

PAIGE COOPER The Man from Atlantis Ingrid is my mother’s name. The only reason I’d ever have a daughter would be to name her Ingrid and let her cry herself to sleep. I’m sorry, I’m a sulker. I was warned. When her boyfriend wouldn’t marry her, Ingrid took his last name anyway and became Ingrid Vivian. When she was twenty, Vivian gave Ingrid an ultimatum: change in six months, or it’s over. They were driving

Read More

USEREVIEW 034 (Capsule): Murmurations

USEREVIEW 034 (Capsule): Murmurations

Annick MacAskillMurmurations (Gaspereau Press, 2020)ISBN 978-1-554472086 | 96 pp | $20.95 CAD #CAROUSELreviews#USEREVIEWEDNESDAY I sat down at my writing desk to begin reading Annick MacAskill’s sophomore poetry collection Murmurations (Gaspereau Press, 2020), expecting to get through a few poems before going to bed. Instead, by the end of an hour or so, I had devoured the book completely. Murmurations, I think, invites this kind of reading. There is a through-line in the poems that is

Read More

USEREVIEW 033: Geographies of Continuum: Lyric and Love

USEREVIEW 033: Geographies of Continuum: Lyric and Love

Attentive as a bird-watcher, reviewer Sneha Subramanian Kanta studies the wingbeats of Annick MacAskill’s sophomore poetry collection, Murmurations (Gaspereau Press, 2020). From landscape to lineation, this traditional review observes and appreciates the full scope of forces that give life to the text. ISBN: 978-1-554472086 | 96 pp | $21.95 CAD #CAROUSELreviews#USEREVIEWEDNESDAY Murmurations by Annick MacAskill is a meditation upon the topographies of love, where every essence is magnified by the presence of nature. In tenderness,

Read More

USEREVIEW 032 (Capsule): Bones

USEREVIEW 032 (Capsule): Bones

Tyler PennockBones (Brick Books, 2020)ISBN 978-1-77131-521-0 | 128 pp | $20.00 CAD #CAROUSELreviews#USEREVIEWEDNESDAY “[T]hey forget / that we are bones / — resurrected from the bones of others,” writes Tyler Pennock, alluding both literally and figuratively to how, in the earth, skeletons slowly disintegrate so that their particles take on new functions in the larger ecosystem. Digested by detrivores, turned into fertile soil, the bones often eventually resurface to nourish the flora and fauna that

Read More

From the Archive: Michael e. Casteels (CAROUSEL 38)

From the Archive: Michael e. Casteels (CAROUSEL 38)

MICHAEL E. CASTEELS 4 Poems The Cattle Business I was rousting some steers that had taken up residence in the house. I gathered a coil of rope and slung it over the pommel of my saddle. Some of these old mossyhorns had grown up here and had no wish to leave. A brindle steer lurched through the breezeway, scraping the walls with his horns. A twisty creek trickled down the front steps and pooled among

Read More

USEREVIEW 031: Counting the Hours

USEREVIEW 031: Counting the Hours

Hollay Ghadery converts Gillian Wigmore’s trifecta of novellas Night Watch: The Vet Suite (Invisible Publishing, 2021) into (32) tercets, each comprising a prime number of syllables, in this mathematically perfect, verse-form experimental review. ISBN 978-1-988784588   | 152 pp | $19.95 CAD #CAROUSELreviews#USEREVIEWEDNESDAY Heifer I don’t want to doit again — I want to doit in reverse: do what I couldn’t dothe first time. See with the slowgaze of cattle, their genuflect feyness,it’s in all

Read More

USEREVIEW 030 (Capsule): The Work

USEREVIEW 030 (Capsule): The Work

Maria MeindlThe Work (Stonehouse Publishing, 2020)ISBN 978-1-988754-16-1| 264 pp | $19.95 CAD #CAROUSELreviews#USEREVIEWEDNESDAY It’s called The Work but reading Maria Meindl’s debut novel couldn’t be farther from a slog. The story hovers over the shoulder of stage manager Rebecca Weir, who works for an experimental theatre company that may or may not be a cult. As the eclectic and shifting cadre of artists devote themselves to breath work and movement exercises and overly-intimate relationship dynamics,

Read More

From the Archive: Anders Nilsen Interview (CAROUSEL 37)

From the Archive: Anders Nilsen Interview (CAROUSEL 37)

Anders Nilsen is a notable American graphic novelist whose works include Big Questions, Dogs and Water, Don’t Go Where I Can’t Follow, Rage of Poseidon, The End, and others. In Poetry is Useless, his latest book, Nilsen redefines the sketchbook format, intermingling elegant, densely detailed renderings of mythical animals, short comics drawn in ink, meditations on religion, and abstract shapes and patterns. This expansive ‘sketchbook-as-graphic-novel’ reveals seven years of Nilsen’s life and musings: it covers

Read More

USEREVIEW 029: Me, You, Then Me Again

USEREVIEW 029: Me, You, Then Me Again

Boldly eschewing the literary convention of never reviewing one’s own work, Khashayar Mohammadi reflects on his newly-released, debut poetry collection, Me, You, Then Snow (Gordon Hill Press, 2021), and its place in Canadian literature, in this autoethnographic experimental review. ISBN 978-1-774220146|  96 pp | $20.00 CAD #CAROUSELreviews#USEREVIEWEDNESDAY In the depths of pandemic insomnia, there isn’t much I can read anymore; so I keep reading and rereading my debut, anticipating the pictures, reviews, award season; practising

Read More

USEREVIEW 028: Loss for Words

USEREVIEW 028: Loss for Words

John Nyman parses, calculates and looks for linguistic solutions in this traditional review of Ian Williams’ poetry collection Word Problems (Coach House Books, 2020). ISBN: 978-1-552454145 | 96 pp | $21.95 CAD #CAROUSELreviews#USEREVIEWEDNESDAY Showcasing a wide range of formal experimentation, an obsession with the technical aspects of language and short, often sentimental lyrics voiced by everyperson speakers, Ian Williams’ poetry is driven by postmodern stylistic devices canonically linked to distancing an author’s identity from the

Read More

USEREVIEW 027: Women Talking Absinthe

USEREVIEW 027: Women Talking Absinthe

Lannie Stabile daydreams a strange and aureate bar-side interview with the eponymous woman of Katherine E. Young’s most recent poetry collection, Woman Drinking Absinthe (Alan Squire Publishing, 2021) in this conversational experimental review. ISBN 978-1-942892243  | 72 pp | $20.99 CAD #CAROUSELreviews#USEREVIEWEDNESDAY Normally, when I interview authors, I like to meet them in a quiet cafe, treat them to their preferred coffee or tea. Drinks in a dark, local bar seemed more fitting, however, to

Read More

USEREVIEW 026 (Capsule): Cephalopography 2.0

USEREVIEW 026 (Capsule): Cephalopography 2.0

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

Read More

From the Archive: John Nyman (CAROUSEL 38)

From the Archive: John Nyman (CAROUSEL 38)

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

Read More

USEREVIEW 025: Swivel Sights

USEREVIEW 025: Swivel Sights

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.

Read More

USEREVIEW 024 (Capsule): The Only Card in a Deck of Knives

USEREVIEW 024 (Capsule): The Only Card in a Deck of Knives

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

Read More

From the Archive: “But the mouse can make a nest in you”: Richard Kraft + Danielle Dutton Interviewed (CAROUSEL 37)

From the Archive: “But the mouse can make a nest in you”: Richard Kraft + Danielle Dutton Interviewed (CAROUSEL 37)

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

Read More