Attention Span 2010 – Susan Holbrook
Robert Kroetsch | Completed Field Notes | U of Alberta P | 2000
This collection establishes Kroetsch as Canada’s most important poet. While a collection necessarily leaves out the wonderful design features of the original individual publications (e.g. Seed Catalogue is no longer superimposed over the illustrated 19th-century McKenzie catalogue), it’s fantastic to hold all these innovative, funny, wickedly sharp long poems in one hand.
Robert Kroetsch | Too Bad | U of Alberta P | 2010
A new collection of short-winded gems, at once tight and loose, dry and hearty. A master of timing. Kroetsch is 83 years old now, and will still charm anybody’s pants off.
Margaret Christakos | What Stirs | Coach House | 2008
Stunning, as always. The domestic is procedural and recombinatory.
Gregory Betts | The Others Raisd In Me | Pedlar | 2009
Betts composes 150 poems out of Shakespeare’s sonnet 150 through the “plunderverse” method: all letters (often words) come from the original, in the order they appear. The excess of it is entirely a pleasure, and every poem is imbued with the whimsy of that originating contortion. It’s a rangey book, announcing its survey of culture from the Renaissance to cyborgism. Delicious tension of maximalism and minimalism. Very appealing small fat book.
Darren Wershler-Henry | the tapeworm foundry | Anansi | 2000
Hilarious stream of compositional ideas. My favourite list.
Damien Rogers | Paper Radio | ECW | 2009
Much of the book is more traditionally lyric that most poetry on the third space lists, but I just really loved it. Intelligently aware of form, fresh, thoughtful, impressive.
Sina Queyras | Lemonhound | Coach House | 2006
Very exciting book – prose poem manna. Lisa Robertson, Gertrude Stein and Virginia Woolf are here by invitation, and the host holds her own.
Mark Truscott | Said Like Reeds or Things | Coach House | 2004
Best tiny poems.
Harryette Mullen | Sleeping With the Dictionary | California | 2002
Loved this book for years, but decided in 2009 to assign it to three levels of students (1st year, 4th year, grad students) to see what they would do with it. I had a chance to revel again in its charms, ingenuities and provocations, and the students figured out what poetry could do. We started most classes with 5 minutes of Mullen and that recast the whole year in the most wonderful way.
Rachel Zolf | Human Resources | Coach House | 2007
The perfect title for a book that mines, exploits and puts through the ringer the language of Zolf’s day job in corporate communications.