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.
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
Hollay Ghadery both employs and subverts the expected repetitions of a pantoum to confront the shifting recurrent patterns that characterize humankind’s ambivalent responses to environmental disaster in this experimental review of Blaze Island (Goose Lane Editions, 2020), the fifth novel of Catherine Bush. In both content and form, Ghadery’s review at once affirms the concerns at the crux of Bush’s work while also grappling with the daunting reality that words are not action, that text
Amanda Earl transforms prose poetry into visual poetry in this experimental review of Bahar Orang’s debut collection Where Things Touch: A Meditation on Beauty (Book*Hug Press, 2020). By cutting open the text and twisting it to a new shape, Earl brings forth a rush of stunning blood that calls attention to the crucial elements of Orang’s essays on aesthetics. ISBN 978-1-77166-569-8 | 114 pp | $20 CAD #CAROUSELreviews I chose an excerpt from a passage
As readers and writers, we are often in a continual process of losing and finding the words we seek. In this experimental review, Emily Woodworth brings this metaphor to life by incisively reenvisioning Lidia Yuknavitch’s lyrical memoir The Chronology of Water (Hawthorne Books, 2011) as a series of classified ads, where the most deeply personal words are publicly sought and sold, lost and found. ISBN 978-0-9790188-3-1 | 310 pp | $18.95 USD #CAROUSELreviews
In six stanzas as flat-topped and flavour-concentrated as the fruit from which Lily Wang’s Saturn Peach (Gordon Hill Press, 2020) takes its name, Erica McKeen juggles, tosses and pries open flesh to get to the stone heart of the book. ISBN 978-1774220115 | 86 pp | $20 CAD #CAROUSELreviews “Droplet on a / green stalk—going up?” A line from Lily Wang’s poem, “Green.” A line from her book from Gordon Hill Press, Saturn Peach. This
Bodies are ever-shifting in Lily Wang’s Saturn Peach (Gordon Hill Press, 2020). At times they assume forms sweet as peaches, at others they take shapes treacherous as caves. In this traditional review, Manahil Bandukwala acts as skillful psychopomp, guiding the uninitiated through the blurry waters of reality and dreams that make up Wang’s debut poetry collection. ISBN 978-1774220115 | 86 pp | $20 CAD #CAROUSELreviews There are certain Tweets by Lily Wang that I think