POETRY: Victoria writer digs up earthy, word-drunk humour
Reviewed by Ariel Gordon (Winnipeg Free Press, Saturday, February 26, 2011)
In The Fetch: A Book of Voices (Brick Books, 120 pages, $19), Ontario-based storyteller Nico Rogers re-creates outport Newfoundland of 50 or 100 years ago in a way both surprising and familiar.
Familiar, because these texts/images have their share of gutted fish, drowned fishermen and starving widows, but surprising because there isn't the smallest drop of condescension or sentimentality in Rogers' debut.
And surprising, too, because The Fetch's orphans, widows and yearning men will make you cry as they turn themselves inside out on the page.
Rogers, who completed his MA -- and a first draft of this book -- at the University of Manitoba, wrote The Fetch in homage to his father. He didn't grow up in Newfoundland himself, but based his texts on interviews with relatives and community elders and time spent in archives.
And it works, thankfully, both as tribute and as art.
Ariel Gordon is a Winnipeg writer.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 26, 2011 H9