Commentaries - April 2014

In Defense of Nothing: Peter Gizzi, Selected Poems: 1987- 2011

Gizzi's poems push against both abstraction and lyric voicing, ensnaring the close listener in an intensifying cascade of dissociative rhythms and discursive constellations. Songs also say, saying also sings. And what at first seems to resist song becomes song. These enthralling, sometime soaring, poems approach, without dwelling in, elegy. They are the soundtrack of a political and cultural moment whose echoic presence Gizzi makes as viscous as the “dark blooming surfs of winter ice."

Geomantic riposte: 'A Night for the Lady'

Originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Joanne Arnott defines herself as a Métis/mixed-blood writer and arts activist living in Salish territories, based on an island in the mouth of the Sto:lo River (Richmond, BC). A founding member of Aboriginal Writers Collective West Coast, Joanne has facilitated Unlearning Racism workshops for many years, and continues to apply peer counselling and storytelling strategies in her work in the literary arts.

Geomantic riposte: 'Here Is Where We Disembark'

Clea Roberts lives in Whitehorse, Yukon, on the Takhini River. Her first book of poetry, Here Is Where We Disembark was nominated for the Gerald Lampert Award, the ReLit Award and the Alberta Readers’ Choice Award. Roberts is recognizable for her many efforts to encourage Canada’s poetry scene, and particularly for those she has concentrated on the Whitehorse Poetry Festival. Here Is Where We Disembark is divided into two sections, with the first comprising lyrics on life in the Yukon and northern British Columbia and the second focussing on the Klondike Gold Rush of the late 19th century.

Toward a poetry and poetics of the Americas (5): Víctor Terán, six poems from 'The Spines of Love'

Translation from Isthmus Zapotec by David Shook



The north wind whips through,

in the streets papers and leaves

are chased with resentment.

Houses moan,

dogs curl into balls.

There is something in the afternoon’s finger,

a catfish spine,

a rusty nail.