Outskirts – Sue Goyette
Reviewed by Corinne (No Bull Book Reviews, November 25, 2011)
Many thanks to the Writers Federation of Nova Scotia. I won this book (and several others) in a silent auction fundraiser at their Fall Into Writing gala.
NO BULL PREMISE: A well-known Halifax poet makes this strange little city shine while dropping one emotional body blow after another.
NO BULL STYLE NOTES: In Outskirts, Goyette’s poems are long-limbed, long-lined and informal, which suits her dry, creeping, nocturnal sense of humour. As the book comes to an end, an entire series somehow sneaks up unannounced. I won’t share its theme; you won’t see it coming anyhow. It’s better that way, and the sneakiness works the atmosphere like nobody’s business.
NO BULL REACTION: It is an absolute pleasure to read a local author who doesn’t shy away from cemented, exact descriptions of place. There’s nothing vague, equivocal or transient about her poems that take place in Gus’ Pub, for instance.
Goyette’s narrator[s] seem more urgently tied to family than those of most poets I’ve read. Her witticisms are temporary distractions that end up drawing me closer to what feels like very private pain.
Brick Books – 2011