Keillor has good ear for overview of American poetry
Reviewed by Ariel Gordon (Winnipeg Free Press, June 25, 2011)
GOOD Poems: American Places (Viking, 484 pages, $36) is a poetry anthology edited by writer/radio host Garrison Keillor...
Speaking of contemporary lyric poets, Sue Goyette has made quite a name for herself since The True Names of Birds appeared in 1998.
In addition to being nominated for the Governor General's Award for Poetry and both the Pat Lowther and Gerald Lampert Awards, Goyette's debut is now in its seventh printing.
Her third outing, outskirts (Brick Books, 112 pages, $19), represents a departure for the Halifax poet. Prose poems and long sequences prevail where in her previous books Goyette favoured poems a page or two in length.
Goyette has also italicized the poems here with only the odd proper noun or bit of dialogue in regular typeface. The effect is that of a writer speaking from the sidelines, as if she regrets her previous pronouncements.
"There was a secret / level to all of this but I hadn't collected enough feathers to get into it," she notes in her poem Memoir.
But perhaps the sotto voce is useful for a poet who is also the mother of teenagers, who is using the language of government and reports to write about the loss of darkness in our fluorescent cities, of privacy and time and the poisoned sea.