USEREVIEW 052 (Capsule): Yes, I am a corpse flower

USEREVIEW 052 (Capsule): Yes, I am a corpse flower

Travis SharpYes, I am a corpse flower (knife|fork|book, 2021)ISBN 978-1-989355-27-5 | 108 pp | $20 CAD | BUY Here #CAROUSELreviews#USEREVIEWEDNESDAY The poetry debut of writer, editor and book artist Travis Sharp and the second full-length collection put out by Toronto independent publisher knife | fork | book, Yes, I am a corpse flower (2021), articulates the ache and bliss that accompany occupying a (queer) body at odds with the (heteronormative, late-capitalist) world. As the book’s

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USEREVIEW 051: A Landscape of Time

USEREVIEW 051: A Landscape of Time

Pictures apparently being worth a thousand words, Manahil Bandukwala uses three paintings to do justice to Selina Boan’s debut poetry collection Undoing Hours (Nightwood Editions, 2021) in this visually arresting experimental review. ISBN 978-0-88971-396-3 | 96 pp | $18.95 CAD | BUY Here #CAROUSELreviews#USEREVIEWEDNESDAY Selina Boan’s poetry is the kind to draw you in and live within the words, and her debut poetry collection Undoing Hours is no different. The collection weaves together language and

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USEREVIEW 050: Curating Vulnerability

USEREVIEW 050: Curating Vulnerability

With a conversational and knowing tone, Joelle Kidd uses the medium of the traditional review to reveal the layers of complexity on display in Molly Cross-Blanchard’s rollicking debut poetry collection, Exhibitionist (Coach House Books, 2021). ISBN 978-1-55245-422-0 | 112 pp | $21.95 CAD | BUY here #CAROUSELreviews#USEREVIEWEDNESDAY “They will call this vulnerable,” the speaker of Exhibitionist declares, “because it’s a book written by a woman / and it checks the woman’s book vibes: / Heartbreak?

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USEREVIEW 049: A Bespoke Respoke

USEREVIEW 049: A Bespoke Respoke

Gary Barwin uses the medium of sound poetry to respond to visual poetry, in this sensory-blurring experimental review of Kate Siklosi and psw’s collaborative artists’ book, Reply (2021). ISBN n/a | 40pp | €22.00 #CAROUSELreviews#USEREVIEWEDNESDAY Print is synaesthetic. Its shapes and textures, papers and colours make the inner fingers tingle, the brainskin prickle. Looking is tactile, kinesthetic. Reading is musical, evokes sound. And collaboration, such as between Kate Siklosi and psw in this marvellous book,

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USEREVIEW 048 (Capsule): Talking to a Portrait: Tales of an Art Curator

USEREVIEW 048 (Capsule): Talking to a Portrait: Tales of an Art Curator

Rosalind M. PepallTalking to a Portrait: Tales of an Art Curator (Véhicule Press, 2020)ISBN 978-1-55065-541-4 | 224 pp | $22.95 CAD #CAROUSELreviews#USEREVIEWEDNESDAY In Talking to a Portrait, Rosalind M. Pepall employs a prose style that combines personal essay with art history to recount notable stories that unfurled during her decades as a curator for the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. None of this is within my areas of expertise, and so I walked into this

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USEREVIEW 047: Dreams to Have

USEREVIEW 047: Dreams to Have

In this traditional review, Ursula Pflug identifies Jessi MacEachern’s debut poetry collection, A Number of Stunning Attacks (Invisible Publishing, 2021), as a force that carries forward a legacy of feminist poetry. ISBN 978-1-98878-465-6 | 120 pp | $18.95 CAD #CAROUSELreviews#USEREVIEWEDNESDAY A few pages into the first section, ‘The Moat Around Her Home,’ Jessi MacEachern writes that she keeps a notebook labelled dreams to have. This is the sort of thing I would have written if

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USEREVIEW 046 (Capsule): Blood Rises

USEREVIEW 046 (Capsule): Blood Rises

David HaskinsBlood Rises (Guernica Editions, 2020)ISBN 978-1-77183-538-1 | 144 pp | $20 CAD #CAROUSELreviews#USEREVIEWEDNESDAY Blood Rises is an apt title for the latest poetry collection from longtime figure in the literary scene, David Haskins. These poems are rich in lifeblood — the substance that rises to the skin at the sight of injustice, that brightens the cheek during unstoppable laughter, that pulses on insistently in the face of death and grief. The emotional tenor of

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USEREVIEW 045 (Capsule): Anthesis

USEREVIEW 045 (Capsule): Anthesis

Sue GoyetteAnthesis (Gaspereau Press, 2020)ISBN 978-1-554472-10-9 | 80 pp | $19.95 CAD #CAROUSELreviews#USEREVIEWEDNESDAY It was difficult for me, while reading Sue Goyette’s Anthesis, not to compare it to her earlier poetry collection The Brief Reincarnation of a Girl (Gaspereau Press, 2015), which likewise recounts childhood trauma. The difference between the books is that the factual events that form the basis of The Brief Reincarnation of a Girl are readily discoverable in the form of countless

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USEREVIEW 044 (Capsule): Ghost Tracks

USEREVIEW 044 (Capsule): Ghost Tracks

Sneha Subramanian KantaGhost Tracks (Louisiana Literature Press, 2020)ISBN 978-0-94508-351-1 | 30 pp | $8.95 USD #CAROUSELreviews#USEREVIEWEDNESDAY There are ghosts everywhere in Kanta’s chapbook of poetry. The ghosts “freckle silence” and “remove fishhooks from animal bodies” and are “carried on the wind” with “hands full of flowers.” We are told by the title to expect tracks, traces, as if the ghosts were deer disappearing into the woods, but instead the ghosts are moving about in front

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USEREVIEW 043: Tower of Babelfish

USEREVIEW 043: Tower of Babelfish

In this traditional review, A.G. Pasquella makes use of a wide range of tools — from linguistic theory to allusions to The Simpsons — in an effort to parse the meaning of The Untranslatable I (Gordon Hill Press, 2021), the latest poetry collection from the Trillium Award winning author Roxanna Bennett. ISBN 978-1-77422-017-7 | 88 pp | $20 CAD #CAROUSELreviews#USEREVIEWEDNESDAY Pain cannot be translated. We can never know how a person actually feels. In Roxanna

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USEREVIEW 042: Johanna Hedva’s Mad Epistemology

USEREVIEW 042: Johanna Hedva’s Mad Epistemology

As gender and genre-bending as its subject, this experimental review by Sarah Cavar skips between theory, memoir, and experimental poetry in order to keep pace with Johanna Hedva’s hybrid literary collection, Minerva the Miscarriage of the Brain (Sming Sming Books + Wolfman Books, 2020), which “incorporates plays, performances, an encyclopedia, essays, autohagiography, hypnagogic and hypnapompic poems.” ISBN 978-1-953189-00-4 | 194 pp | $18 USD #CAROUSELreviews#USEREVIEWEDNESDAY What I needed to make this review: Twitter. My Chemex. Crystal

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USEREVIEW 041 (Capsule): A Map of Rain Days

USEREVIEW 041 (Capsule): A Map of Rain Days

Jennifer HoseinA Map of Rain Days (Guernica Editions, 2020)ISBN 978-1-771834-41-4 | 128 pp | $20 CAD #CAROUSELreviews#USEREVIEWEDNESDAY “My mother’s toes are / crooked and curled / in a misguided, arthritic map / of rain days,” writes Jennifer Hosein in the eponymous poem of her debut collection, A Map of Rain Days. In these lines there is a conflation of body and world, but also of space and time. Time becomes an entity that is spatially

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USEREVIEW 040 (Capsule): Gold Rush

USEREVIEW 040 (Capsule): Gold Rush

Claire CaldwellGold Rush (Invisible Publishing, 2020)ISBN 978-1-988784-46-5 | 80 pp | $17.95 CAD #CAROUSELreviews#USEREVIEWEDNESDAY Writing about pioneers and summer camp risks a confrontation with banal, or even dangerous, sentimentalism. However, in her sophomore poetry collection, Gold Rush, Claire Caldwell is circumspect, scrutinizing and assessing her subjects with the critical eye they deserve — and she never mistakes pyrite for gold. See, for instance, her poem ‘After the Gold Rush,’ in which the speaker declares, “We

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USEREVIEW 039 (Capsule): The Weight of the Heart

USEREVIEW 039 (Capsule): The Weight of the Heart

Theresa KishkanThe Weight of the Heart (Palimpsest Press, 2020)ISBN 978-1-98928-747-7 | 120 pp | $15.95 CAD #CAROUSELreviews#USEREVIEWEDNESDAY It isn’t a spoiler to say that we never do find out exactly how much a heart weighs in the latest novella from prolific author Theresa Kishkan, but what is clear is that the heart weighs more than we might be given to expect. The story foreshadows this figurative surprise with its opening lines: “The closer I got

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USEREVIEW 038: Watch the Left Hand

USEREVIEW 038: Watch the Left Hand

Through a process of careful and combing traditional review, Leah Bobet is able to find and extract the half-concealed magic tricks and the mixtapes from Jen Sookfong Lee’s debut poetry collection The Shadow List (Wolsak & Wynn, 2021). ISBN 978-1-989496-28-2  | 96 pp | $18 CAD #CAROUSELreviews#USEREVIEWEDNESDAY Smudged lipstick, sleepless nights and a deft structural-linguistic game that cracks binary questions of self-worth like a hatching egg: Vancouver author Jen Sookfong Lee’s The Shadow List charts

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USEREVIEW 037 (Capsule): God Damned Avalon

USEREVIEW 037 (Capsule): God Damned Avalon

Paul Edward CostaGod Damned Avalon (Mosaic Press, 2020)ISBN 978-1-77161-532-7 | 108 pp | $17.95 CAD #CAROUSELreviews#USEREVIEWEDNESDAY Paul Edward Costa’s debut flash fiction collection, God Damned Avalon, is as chock-full of switchbacks as its paradoxical title — invoking a paradise that divinity has forsaken — should lead you to expect. Earning the name of their genre, the tales in this book are lightning-quick, though the subjects they depict sometimes span centuries, the rises and falls of

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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

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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

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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

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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,

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