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Dennis Cooley Night Table Recommendations

Tuesday, Mar 30, 2010 at 9:11am

Too Bad by Robert Kroetsch (University of Alberta)

Kroetsch has created a lot of wonderful stuff and he keeps doing something different. In this, his latest book, he writes an hilarious autobiography of sorts in short and highly readable poems. They combine childhood memories and often embarrassing stories about his life as an adult writer. If at some point you don't laugh out loud or feel a catch in your thoughts you aren't reading. Almost everyone has noted the humour in Kroetsch's books; we have less often noticed the anguish that is in them. This book gives us both in a fresh and winning way.

aphelion by Jenna Butler (NeWest Press)

Jenna Butler is a new poet from Alberta but you'd never know it when you pick up this book. In her world shadows sweep, people dredge lettuce from gardens, houses dangle their stilt legs, dust condenses, birds are tugged to flight, parsley shatters into bloom. I love how finely sounded and how sensory they are, these poems, their intense feel for the heft and shape of things. Her poetry bulges with thingness and everywhere finds them in surprising terms. This is just a dazzling collection and Butler is a writer you will want to watch and to read right now.

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Dennis Cooley has lived most of his life on the prairies where for many years he has taught, edited, and written. His latest book, correction line, circles around the southern Saskatchewan of his growing up. He recently appeared, alongside Marilyn Bowering, on March 20th at our Grant Park store to celebrate World Poetry Day with Prairie Fire Magazine.

Categories: Reviews, Poetry, Discussions, Authors

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