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

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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 Rasqira 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

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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USEREVIEW 023 (Capsule): The Knowing Animals

USEREVIEW 023 (Capsule): The Knowing Animals

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

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USEREVIEW 022: Between the Body and the Mind

USEREVIEW 022: Between the Body and the Mind

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

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USEREVIEW 021: Grammar Poetics (An Experimental Review of Four Books)

USEREVIEW 021: Grammar Poetics (An Experimental Review of Four Books)

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

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USEREVIEW 020 (Capsule): Cosmic Bowling

USEREVIEW 020 (Capsule): Cosmic Bowling

Cornelia Hoogland and Ted GooddenCosmic Bowling (Guernica Editions, 2020)ISBN 978-1-771835374 | 156 pp | $20 CAD #CAROUSELreviews#USEREVIEWEDNESDAY Cornelia Hoogland and Ted Goodden’s Cosmic Bowling (Guernica Editions, 2020) pairs Hoogland’s brief, meditative poems with Goodden’s humanoid ceramic sculptures to form a collaborative, multidisciplinary ekphrastic response to the I Ching. This book is the product of two practised artists, and both poems and sculptures have an unassuming, quotidian, near-directness about them, a quality of commonsense wisdom rendered

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USEREVIEW 019: Playing with the Universe

USEREVIEW 019: Playing with the Universe

In this exuberant traditional review, Julie McIsaac traces the metaphysical, mythological and scientific lineage of Cosmic Bowling, a collaborative art and poetry collection by Cornelia Hoogland and Ted Goodden (Guernica Editions, 2020), while simultaneously imitating the spirit of playful wonder that animates the book.  ISBN 978-1771835374 | 156 pp | $20 CAD #CAROUSELreviews#USEREVIEWEDNESDAY Cosmic Bowling by Cornelia Hoogland and Ted Goodden was released in 2020 as part of Guernica Editions’ Essential Poets Series. The collection

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USEREVIEW 018: Dwelling in the Organic

USEREVIEW 018: Dwelling in the Organic

Mark Laliberte transliterates visual poems into text in this traditional review of Sacha Archer’s third full-length collection, Mother’s Milk (Timglaset Editions, 2020). Balancing considerations of both the sensory impact of the works with their articulated thematic preoccupations, Laliberte brings his twin literary and artistic expertise to bear in a way that contextualizes and enlivens Archer’s book. ISBN 978-91-985539-0-1 | 84 pp | €16.00 #CAROUSELreviews#USEREVIEWEDNESDAY Mother’s Milk is an essential collection of Canadian creator Sacha Archer’s

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USEREVIEW 017 (Capsule): Mythical Man

USEREVIEW 017 (Capsule): Mythical Man

David LyMythical Man (Palimpsest Press, 2020)ISBN 978-1-989287354 | 70 pp | $18.95 CAD #CAROUSELreviews#USEREVIEWEDNESDAY Reading David Ly’s Mythical Man (Palimpsest Press, 2020) feels not unlike being on late-night Twitter, where text slips between gossip and discourse, where a quippy tone is an obvious filter for latent ennui. This debut collection is young and lustful, tech-savvy and oppression-aware. The poems in it that interested me most were the ones slightly removed from realism, that indulged a

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USEREVIEW 016: An Echo of Crows

USEREVIEW 016: An Echo of Crows

In this striking experimental review, Jessica Bromley Bartram uses the medium of illustration to couple personal essay with literary criticism, and to visually render the prominent motifs of Karen McBride’s debut novel, Crow Winter (Harper Avenue, 2019). Both the novel and the review meet at the crossroads of the human and the animal, the mundane and the transcendent. ISBN 978-1-443459679 | 352 pp | $22.99 CAD #CAROUSELreviews#USEREVIEWEDNESDAY “A crow croaks loudly on the power line

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USEREVIEW 015 (Capsule): Swimmers in Winter

USEREVIEW 015 (Capsule): Swimmers in Winter

Faye GuentherSwimmers in Winter (Invisible Publishing, 2020)ISBN 978-1-988784502 | 208 pp | $19.95 CAD #CAROUSELreviews#USEREVIEWEDNESDAY Faye Guenther’s Swimmers in Winter (Invisible Publishing, 2020) has a title that accurately bespeaks its tone — there is a chill to these three sets of paired-off stories that is, by turns, invigorating and lulling. But there is also a clarity in the prose, like cold water free of rose-eyed summer. Though this is Guenther’s debut collection of short fiction,

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From the Archive: Mallory Tater (CAROUSEL 37)

From the Archive: Mallory Tater (CAROUSEL 37)

MALLORY TATER The Last Nickel Geraldine’s black bather sticks to her chapped skin. Her thighs burn rogue with saltwater rashes. The water isn’t good to her but she loves it anyway. She walks her path to the seawall, one-at-a-times each stone step down to the shore. She feels a shifting in the land, but she isn’t afraid of it. Kelp and purple claw-weed accumulate in bundles, thick and dirty like doll’s hair. Geraldine wades until

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USEREVIEW 014 (Capsule): Tiny Ruins

USEREVIEW 014 (Capsule): Tiny Ruins

Nicole Haldoupis Tiny Ruins (Radiant Press, 2020)ISBN 978-1-989274385 | 88 pp | $20 CAD #CAROUSELreviews#USEREVIEWEDNESDAY How many novels do you get to read that are composed entirely of linked flash fiction? That alone is reason enough to peruse Nicole Haldoupis’ debut, Tiny Ruins (Radiant Press, 2020). The action is largely commonplace — anecdotes of minor embarrassments that threaten to become neuroses, ambivalent infatuations, prickling familial conflicts — the sort of tales we tell only our

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