Contrary to what cannot be found in a country’s major newspaper, it was a great year for poetry, Canadian and elsewhere.
What do I read/look for? Did the work accomplish what it set out to do? Does it surprise/delight? Stay with me? As a publisher/programmer the measure is “if this is the one thing we did, well done.”
KFB published four beautiful chapbooks and a stunning broadside (from Dale Smith’s SONS, 2017). Our spring bouquet of ROXANNA BENNETT, JOHN ELIZABETH STINTZI, and LAUREN TURNER were nothing shy of inspired, and KATE SUTHERLAND’s glorious BEASTS of the SEA. A very good year.
In chapbooks, nothing has delighted me more than discovering the creative work coming from Calgary publisher KYLE FLEMMER, and Anstruther has more titles I’ve enjoyed then can be mentioned here, EVAN JONES’ Cavafy poems, JM FRANCHETEAU’s HEART & MOUTH & DEED & LIFE and their Manifesto Series (edited by SHANE NEILSON) with terrific offerings by JOHN NYMAN and JOHN BARTON. Well done.*
Here’s a few that kicked ass, with a decided slant towards Canadian. If there was one poem that tore me a new one, it’s CACONRAD’s Glitter In My Wounds. And Dominique, your debut will stay with me forever. Thank you.
KFB KIRBY’S PICKS
TERRENCE HAYES TO FLOAT IN THE SPACE BETWEEN WAVE
DOMINIQUE BERNIER-CORMIER CORRESPONDENT ICEHOUSE POETRY
ERIC SCHMALTZ SURFACES INVISIBLE BOOKS
ANNICK MACASKILL NO MEETING WITHOUT BODY GASPEREAU
RICHARD SCOTT SOHO FABER & FABER
AIDAN CHAFE SHORT HISTORIES OF LIGHT MQUP
NORMA COLE FATE NEWS OMNIDAWN
RYAN ECKES GENERAL MOTORS SPLIT LIP PRESS
HOA NGUYEN (GUEST EDITOR) BEST CANADIAN POETRY IN ENGLISH 2018 TIGHTROPE BOOKS + JIM JOHNSTONE (EDITOR) THE NEXT WAVE: AN ANTHOLGY OF 21ST CENTURY CANADIAN POETRY ANSTRUTHER
LINDA FRANK DIVIDED WOLSAK AND WYNN
KLARA DU PLESSIS EKKE PALIMPSEST
CACONRAD WHILE STANDING IN LINE FOR DEATH WAVE
ALSO NOTABLE: NEIL SURKAN ON HIGH MQUP MARK TRUSCOTT BRANCHES BOOK*HUG A.F. MORITZ THE SPARROW ANANSI KAREN MAC CORMACK RECHELESSE PRATTICQUE CHAX DIONNE BRAND THE BLUE CLERK M&S CATHERINE LALONDE (trans OANA AVASILICHIOAEI) THE FAERIE DEVOURING BOOK*HUG AMANDA JERNIGAN YEARS, MONTHS, DAYS BIBLIOASIS NASSAR HUSSAIN SKY WRI TEI NGS COACH HOUSE GARRY THOMAS MORSE SAFETY SAND TALONBOOKS TANIS FRANCO QUARRY UNIV CALGARY PRESS DAVID JAMES BROCK TEN-HEADED ALIEN WOLSAK AND WYNN CHRIS BAILEY WHAT YOUR HANDS HAVE DONE NIGHTWOOD EDITIONS
SACHA ARCHER TSK OOMPH INSPIRITUS PRESS
CECILIA STUART ADRIAN KIVA MUDROOM ANCHORAGE PRESS
KHASHAYAR MOHAMMADI MOE’S SKIN ZED PRESS
SARETTA MORGAN FEELING UPON ARRIVAL UGLY DUCKLING PRESSE
TRAVIS SHARP SINISTER QUEER AGENDA ABOVE/GROUND
S. BROOK CORFMAN METEORITES DOUBLECROSS PRESS
RASIQRA REVULVA IF YOU FORGET THE WHIPPED CREAM, YOU’RE NO GOOD AS A WOMAN GAP RIOT
SHELLY HARDER REMNANTS BASELINE PRESS
VAISHALI PALIWAL LION’S TOOTH ON MIGRATING CHESTS THE SOAP BOX
AMANDA EARL JOHN THE BLASTED TREE
PAOLA FERRANTE THE TRUE CONFESSIONS OF BUFFALO BILL ANSTRUTHER
*I must also note, some recent Brick Book titles just came out that I’ve haven’t gotten to, but will, with relish.
Corrections: It’s Shelly Harder (not Sally, forgive!) and I’ve added Chris Bailey’s powerful debut. Kb