Sunday, November 01, 2009

Fall book notes

Excuse the random and sketchy nature of this list--very busy and very much in progress--but here are a few books I am looking forward to:

NO GENDER: Reflections on the Life and Work of Kari Edwards, ed. by Julian Brolaski, Erica Kaufman and E. Tracy Grinnell, Litmus/Belladonna, 2009. I was just getting to know Edwards and then she was gone. Very much looking forward to this publication.

Haven't read her new book yet, but loved Kate Greenstreet's Case Sensitive and am pretty sure I'll love the new one. Here's an interview with Jean Valentine. Here's a brief review posted on Case Sensitive a while back.

I've given Rachel Levitsky's Neighbor one read and loved it. Need to read again so I can comment, but I can say that it is, like her previous book, Under The Sun, a long poem, an engagement, quite gentle and insistently political.

Melissa Buzzeo's Face is gorgeous. I have to write more about it, and plan to. 

Mina Pam Dick's Delinquent. Here's some fiction from her in the Brooklyn Rail.

The Rose Concordance, Angela Carr, BookThug 2009

Moure's My Beloved Wager, NeWest 2009 (I have this in my hands as I write this) as well as her Chimaera book. 

Very curious about Kate Durbin's The Ravenous Audience.

Excited about Joe Denham's new book, Windstorm, Nightwood 2009.

CA Conrad's Book of Frank.

From the Coach House Snare Launch on Sunday night I can say that all the readers were great--so now I'm curious about Kate Hall's new book The Certainty Dream, and young Sarah Dowling's book--Rachel Zolf chose and edited.

Zach Wells' latest certainly looks good on the outside. Amazing cover. Biblioasis does beautiful books, as I have said before. Canadian poetry shows up in the world well-clothed.

Books I have yet to talk about here, but deserve to be talked about more:

Robert Bringhurst's Selected (Gaspereau 2009). How many Canadian poets can actually warrant either a Selected or Collected book of poems? I was talking to Rob Winger and David O'Meara about this in Ottawa, the weight of Paul Durcan's new collected (amazing!) in my hand. Purdy, check. Purdy, check. Purdy, check...there was a lot of staring up at the ceiling. The collected Don Coles (How We All Swiftly) is impressive. bp Nichol. Steven McCaffery's Seven Pages Missing is also impressive. Margaret Atwood came up in the conversation, and my first response was no, couldn't hold up as a collected in poetry, but then I realized of course, that no one was imagining women as possibilities for a comparable volume. Well, other than Atwood. And don't bring Bishop up, she was not, other than being born here, Canadian.

All of this leads me to Bringhurst's selected (like it very much but have not formulated any observations or opinions yet...just that it's beautiful). 

Gregory Betts If Language is a fabulous book. A conceptual book, perfectly executed. And now it seems he has another one--with Pedlar Press which sounds even more exciting.

While in Ottawa I found an old Dalkey Archive collection of fiction by Diane Williams, which I was very excited about, but not so excited to read. I'll have to go back in. And I will happily go back in to  La Medusa. More on that soon.

Mark Wallace, Walking Dreams: Selected Early Tales, Blaze Vox, 2007. Very much enjoying the companionable and intelligent nature of these texts. It speaks to why I didn't love William's collected stories so much: all sharpness, no warmth, no settling in beyond the intellectual. Great use of second person in "A Walk In The Park," which is so far, my favorite. The only story I didn't quite get, and found disturbing in a number of ways is "Amanda Running," a fable, and a story that this reviewer in any case, also had trouble with (though perhaps not for the same reason). It just seemed too "on point," to me, and in a way, seemed to enact the very thing it was satirizing.

Exciting anthologies:

Prismatic Publics, Eichhorn & Milne, Coach House 2009
Regreen: New Canadian Ecological Poetry eds, Dickinson & Anand, Your Scrivener Press 2009
Feminaissance,ed. Christine Wertheim, Les Figues 2009 (cover to the left)