A top ten of sorts. In alphabetical order by title:
Campfire Radio Rhapsody
by Robert Earl Stewart (Mansfield Press).
by Nick Thran (Nightwood Editions).
by Jacob McArthur Mooney (McClelland & Stewart).
by Mark Calanan (Signal Poetry/Vehicule).
by David McGimpsey (Coach House Books).
by Ken Babstock (House of Anansi Press).
by Sandra Ridley (Pedlar Press).
by Sachiko Murakami (Talonbooks).
The Shining Material
by Aisha Sasha John (BookThug).
by Chris Banks (ECW Press).
Of course, to avoid any conflict, this list excludes any books for which I was the editor, all of which have my total recommendation. These books are: Grunt of the Minotaur
by Robin Richardson, Love Figures
by Sam Cheuk, and Dance, Monster!
by Stan Rogal.
Now, these lists are always somewhat arbitrary, and if pressed on another day, in another mood, I might have made an argument for other books; Gabe Foreman, Linda Besner, Helen Guri, Phil Hall, Leigh Nash, Matt Rader, Leigh Kotsilidis and many other people published books in the last 12 months that I absolutely loved. 2011 was one of the strongest years for Canadian Poetry in a long time, with so many wonderful books it is impossible for short lists to do them all justice.
I'm looking forward to 2012, with more great Canadian poetry books on the way!