Commentaries - May 2020


How many days is it? I’ve lost track — feel stuck and unmoored at the same time. This day, May 3, 2020, feels like day one of the lockdown — it could as well be day one hundred, or day thirty, despite the recent advisories that certain businesses will be allowed to reopen. This balmy Spring day of 20 degrees Celsius actually marks the seventh week and the fifty-second day of the lockdown here in Toronto. 

Sometimes I feel my soul harrowed by this experience …

Between kindness and precarity

Orchid Tierney

Orchid Tierney reviews three titles that engage with Anthropocene landscapes: Edgeland and other poems by David Eggleton; Habitat Threshold by Craig Santos Perez; and Mezzaluna: Selected Poems by Michele Leggott.

On our radar: 'For the Ride' by Alice Notley

During this time of slowed publication, we at J2 want to highlight some books from our (digital) reviews shelf. Today’s poetry title on our radar: For the Ride by Alice Notley (Penguin Poets, 2020) . If you’d like to review this title, please let us know:

Jerome Rothenberg

For Michael McClure, a memorial and tribute

Written as introduction to a reading 15.iv.2000 at D.G. Wills Books in La Jolla, CA 


Alireza Roshan

Five Poems from 'The Book of Absence' in Persian and English

Alireza Roshan was born in Tehran in 1977, where he worked as a journalist, heading the Books Desk at Iran’s most popular reformist daily newspaper. Around 2008, he began publishing his poetry daily online, on sites such as Google Reader, Google+, and Facebook. In so doing, he gained fame as “a poet without a book,” yet he’d deny claims to being a precursor of Instapoetry. 

Translation from Persian by Erfan Mojib and Gary Gach



اگر می‌گویم


یارم نیامده


When I write


it’s a sign

my beloved has not yet come