The Good News About Armageddon
Poems that occupy the difficult territory of contemporary crisis with great candour and trenchant wit.
Steve McOrmond’s unflinching take on contemporary life, with its saturnine candour and ironic focus, may remind readers of the anti-poetry of Europeans like Zbigniew Herbert: intense, humanistic and deeply sceptical of inflationary gestures or stagy rhetoric. Shedding illusions, but equally refusing the consolations of despair, McOrmond’s well-tempered satire is carried home on its own crisp music.
The title poem has, as it narrative background, the encounter between the narrator and a young door-to-door missionary, one who sets his worldly and jaded scepticism against her innocence and faith. The Good News about Armageddon poses questions that are difficult and durable (“In these hours of prolific / doubt, how will we acquit ourselves?”), as well as those that are topical (“Are Paris Hilton’s 15 minutes over yet?”) and probes with accurate wit (“We are an argument / for unintelligent design”). This is essential poetry for our time – astute, informed, bitingly satirical, yet grounded in its quest for words that, like Cordelia’s, reverb no hollowness.
“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
- Momentary Respite from Contemporary Living
Neil Hanson, St. Thomas University, Atlantic Canadian Poets' Archive
- The Moment Stands Still: Poetry From Brick Books
Kristina Marie Darling, New Letters: A Magazine of Writing & Art, University of Missouri - Kansas City, Volume 78, No. 2 (winter 2012)
- Transitions in Poetry
Susie DeCoste, Canadian Literature #209 (Summer 2011)
- The Good News About Armageddon by Steve McOrmond
Oliver Dixon, Eyewear, April 12, 2011
- Retail 2010: Brick Books
Jacob McArthur Mooney, Vox Populism, January 11, 2010
About the Author
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.