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House of Anansi Press - July 25, 2006 - 5 Comments

The Good Bacteria

The Good Bacteria by Sharon Thesen

Reviewed by Shane Neilson

Often when reading poetry books, I’m moved. Moved to say, this is brilliant, or more often, moved to note, somewhat wraithlike, that this is atrocious. But then there are the flawed books, the ones ambitious in their conception but problematic in their execution, and Sharon Thesen’s The Good Bacteria emphatically falls into this middle category. Sometimes it’s these books which provoke the strongest reaction, the greatest disillusionment. So it is here.


House of Anansi Press - June 29, 2006 - 98 Comments

Airstream Land Yacht

Airstream Land Yacht by Ken Babstock

Reviewed by Jenn Houle

I think it might be best to read Ken Babstock’s Airstream Land Yacht in the morning.  I made the mistake of first cracking it in the evening, and I ended up unable to sleep.  Could be that it was the seasons changing, my circadian rhythms glitching with late spring dampness and fog, but I am nearly certain Babstock’s poems played a part.  Some of the poems in this collection are just so surprisingly beautiful, so stunning and viscerally interesting, that it actually takes your brain a little while to apprehend it.  Something like when you have a near collision in the car, and the details of the near-miss only fill themselves in later, once you’re already long past the yield sign and cruising safely.  As I read along, I kept turning back to previous poems, and then trying to catch up with the collection’s flow all over again.  I kept flipping to the back page and staring at the author’s photo, thinking:  What?  How?  Really? Who is this person and how did he manage to articulate that?


House of Anansi Press - June 15, 2006 - 7 Comments


Swithering by Robin Robertson

Reviewed by Ian LeTourneau

I first came across Robin Robertson’s poetry in Anansi’s New British Poetry anthology a few years back. Hungry for new and distant voices, I snapped up a copy the instant it was unpackaged from the box at the bookstore where I worked. I commend Anansi for introducing so many new voices to readers in Canada and for publishing the volume under review here, Scottish poet Robin Robertson’s third book, Swithering.