Thursday 30 April 2009

I write about Patrick Woodcock on the Globe & Mail blog

I had the chance to write some commentary to accompany a wonderful poem called "Swimming with Pink Dolphins and My Dead Mother" by Patrick Woodcock in the Globe and Mail book blog today. Here's a sample:
On one particular journey up the Amazon, Woodcock encountered a pod of pink dolphins (as well as learning the local legends and lore surrounding same: The dolphins, according to the inhabitants, actually represent the reincarnated souls of recently departed loved ones). Still alive to the memories of his deeply missed mother, Woodcock took comfort and solace in the stories which inspired this simply stunning poem...
Read the full commentary and Woodcock's poem here.

Saturday 25 April 2009

Patrick Woodcock is coming home to launch a new collection!

Always Die Before Your Mother
by Patrick Woodcock

Book Launch Details

Tuesday, May 12, 2009,


Where: Supermarket

268 Augusta Avenue


Friday 24 April 2009

My poem "Ape" (part one) is on the Globe & Mail blog today.

My poem "Ape" (part one) -- along with some very kind words from Judith Fitzgerald and commentary by Jacob McArthur Mooney -- is on the Globe & Mail blog today. It's dedicated to Koko the gorilla. I hope you enjoy it. Here it is.

PS. You can visit Koko online at The Gorilla Foundation/

Monday 13 April 2009

I'm on 30 in 30 today!

I'm today's feature on Seen Reading's 30 in 30 project for national poetry month. You can hear me read my poem "The Difficulty of Forgiving Summer" from my book Between the Walls.

Be sure to check out the other poets in this program as well, including Griffin Prize nominees Kevin Connolly and Jeramy Dodds among many others.

Saturday 11 April 2009

My Griffin Prize Round-up in the Globe and Mail

In today's Globe and Mail, I review the three Canadian books nominated for this year's Griffin Poetry Prize. Here are a few words from the review:

Crabwise to the Hounds, by Jeramy Dodds, Coach House, 70 pages, $16.95

...his poems resonate physically with cunningly crafted language while they successfully amuse the intellect. He balances form, content, entertainment and ingenuity without giving any indication that any ingredient is more or less important than the others.

Revolver, by Kevin Connolly, Anansi, 82 pages, $18.95

What astounds the reader is the virtuosity with which Connolly wields all the poetic tools at his disposal. And this artistic multiplicity is not some elaborate masquerade. Connolly isn't pretending to be 45 different kinds of poet. Here, he is 45 different kinds of poet, and each is the authentic Kevin Connolly.

The Sentinel, by A.F. Moritz, Anansi, 88 pages, $18.95

There is something reassuring in art of this calibre; it reminds us how things matter. Moritz's voice is unmistakable. His readers, his admiring peers and his reviewers have long felt this, but it has become so obvious that it must finally be said: A.F. Moritz is one of the true master poets of his generation.

Read the entire review here.

Tuesday 7 April 2009

The Griffin Prize Presents the Shortlists of Pure Love and Awesomeness!

The Canadian Shortlist

Kevin Connolly

House of Anansi Press

Crabwise to the Hounds
Jeramy Dodds

Coach House Books

The Sentinel
A. F. Moritz

House of Anansi Press

The International Shortlist

The Lost Leader
Mick Imlah

Faber and Faber

Life on Earth
Derek Mahon

Gallery Press

Rising, Falling, Hovering
C. D. Wright

Copper Canyon Press

Primitive Mentor
Dean Young

University of Pittsburgh Press

I really believe this might be the one of the strongest overall shortlists in the history of the prize. I don't have a beef with any of the inclusions. The readings are going to be great!

Here are my predictions:

Canadian: A.F. Moritz

International: C.D. Wright

Friday 3 April 2009

Mark Medley interviews Stuart Ross for National Poetry Month

Toronto's Stuart Ross has been a fixture in Canadian poetry for decades, and is the author of many, many books of poetry, including (2008),Dead Cars in Managua I Cut My Finger (2007), Hey, Crumbling Balcony! Poems New & Selected (2003), Razovsky at Peace (2001) and Farmer Gloomy's New Hybrid (1999). He's the poetry editor for Mansfield Press, the poetry and fiction editor at This Magazine, and since 1979 Ross has run his own micropress, Proper Tales Press. He also runs poetry "bootcamps" and workshops across the country.

Can you remember the first poem you ever wrote? What was it about?

Don't recall the first poem I ever wrote, but the first I ever sent out for publication went like this: "If you double a bubble / you'd have two bubbles / but this information isn't worth / a pile of rubble." I was about 10 years old. It got rejected.

The rest is here.

Keep checking back. They're doing another one each day. George Murray, Anne Simpson, Zach Wells, and Carolyn Smart so far. Click here for the default page.

Wednesday 1 April 2009

30 in 30 for National Poetry Month

Well, April is upon us, and it's time to celebrate poetry. For National Poetry Month, Julie Wilson's blog Seen Reading brings us a wonderful project called 30 in 30. The premise is that thirty poets read a poem of their own and also a poem written by someone else. I read my poem "The Difficulty of Forgiving Summer" from my book Between the Walls, and I also read the poem "The Sheep Child" (about which you may read a marvellous essay by Maria Hummel here) by the American poet James Dickey.

The list of poets Julie Wilson has brought together for this project is both diverse and impressive, and the poems of course are marvellous. Listen to Karen Solie's "Tractor" or Nick Thran's "The Age of the Pineapple" or Gil Adamson's "Finally" and you'll see what I mean.

And Bravo to Julie to bringing it all together.