Brick Book Club 2010
Lost Gospels by Lorri Neilsen Glenn
Poems of great loss and deep questioning, wringing beauty out of potential despair. Lost Gospels confirms Neilsen Glenn as a poet of maturity, depth and power.
“Here’s a book charged with electricity. The twang of country music, the ripeness of ‘berry, leaf, fruit,’ the fierce clarity of Simone Weil’s philosophy—Lorri Neilsen Glenn’s poetry exhorts us to ‘Wake every chance you can.’ ‘Carry light,’ she says, and we do, reading her blazing words.” – Anne Simpson
Lorri Neilsen Glenn is the author of three previous collections of poetry, including Combustion (Brick Books, 2007). An award-winning ethnographer and essayist, she is the author and editor of six books on research and literacy, a forthcoming collection of essays on loss, and an anthology about mothers. Poet Laureate for Halifax from 2005-2009, Lorri lives and works in Halifax, and returns often to the Prairies where she was born.
The Secret Signature of Things by Eve Joseph
Transparent poems that gesture gracefully toward the great silence at the heart of things.
“…Eve Joseph’s craft and attention, her choice of the perfect word, give a kind of holiness to the song of everyday life. And if some of these poems are honed down to their elegant bones, others are expansive and wide open…” – Patricia Young
Eve Joseph grew up in North Vancouver. As a young woman she traveled widely before moving to Victoria where she now lives with her family. Her first book, The Startled Heart, was shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Award.
Alien, Correspondent by Antony Di Nardo
These astute, generous poems give us contemporary Beirut in all its ravaged and incongruent beauty. This arresting first collection is, in part, a delicately balanced look at Beirut from the perspective of a Westerner who lives and works in that remarkable city.
“Time and space are lenses Di Nardo overlays to bring Beirut into historic and personal focus… Evidence of violence abounds here, as does love, and Di Nardo epitomizes, like Cavafy, the empathy required to be its perfect correspondent.” – John Barton
Antony Di Nardo was born in Montreal and has lived in southern and northwestern Ontario, Toronto, the Eastern Townships, and Germany. He now lives in Oshawa although he has been teaching in Beirut for the past three years at the International College. His poetry appears widely in journals across Canada and internationally.
The Good News About Armageddon by Steve McOrmond
Poems that occupy the difficult territory of contemporary crisis with great candour and trenchant wit. Shedding illusions, but equally refusing the consolations of despair, McOrmond’s well-tempered satire is carried home on its own crisp music.
“A metaphysical wit and a self-mocking humour leaven this often dark account of the calamity that is our contemporary way of living. In his own distinctive way, Steve McOrmond… [weaves] in these technically deft lyric pieces a kind of post-modernist jeremiad.” – Mary Dalton
Steve McOrmond’s first collection, Lean Days (2004), was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Award. His second, Primer on the Hereafter (2006), was awarded the Atlantic Poetry Prize. Originally from Prince Edward Island, he now lives in Toronto.
Return from Erebus by Julia McCarthy
Poems that map the mythic dimensions of the ordinary with fluent, quiet urgency. Erebus, the dark and shadowy outer realm of the Underworld in Greek mythology, becomes a place of transition and becoming in Julia McCarthy’s Return from Erebus.
“It’s immediately evident when you start reading this collection that these poems are testimonies to a poet who can straddle internal/external realities with complete eloquence… McCarthy’s voice is authoritative and subtle, rich with the resonances of lived experiences that are actualized, and laid out before the reader in a superb embodiment of attentiveness… Reading this book makes me ecstatic about poetry.” – Don Domanski
Julia McCarthy is originally from Toronto. She spent ten years living in the United States, most notably Alaska and Georgia. She has also lived in Norway and spent significant time in South Africa. Her previous collection of poetry, Stormthrower, was published by Wolsak and Wynn in 2002. She now resides in Nova Scotia where she works as a freelance writer and editor.
That Other Beauty by Karen Enns
An exquisitely musical and meditative new voice in Canadian poetry. In her debut collection, Karen Enns’ focus is the beauty present to us in almost every moment, however mundane or apparently lost. Her argument is that the act of attention itself is the most fundamental of these beauties.
“Karen Enns is a gift to what I can only call song, an offering to ‘the wide open mouth of the heart.’ ” – Patrick Lane
Karen Enns is from southern Ontario, where she was born and raised in a Mennonite farm community. Her poetry has appeared in The Fiddlehead, The Antigonish Review, Grain Magazine, PRISM international and The Malahat Review. She lives in Victoria, B.C.
The Fetch by Nico Rogers
A book of voices arising out of the lives of people who populated outport Newfoundland. Drawing on family recollections, interviews with elders and extensive research in archives and regional museums, The Fetch, Nico Rogers’ first book, is a compelling volume of tales and prose poems that contains a broad range of characters.
Nico Rogers is a storyteller and performance artist, and has appeared at writing and folk festivals across the country, as well as on TV and radio. He has taught writing and literature in post-secondary institutions in Ottawa, Winnipeg, and Edmonton and now lives in Toronto, where he is working on a novel which will be a thematic continuation of The Fetch.