Talking to Strangers is a book of bracing encounters. Throughout her four decades as poet, Rhea Tregebov has displayed an uncommon eye for the mysteries of ordinary life—moments where, as she writes, “[t]he simplest things / elude me.” This gift is brought to brilliant effect in her eighth book of poetry and most charged to date. In gorgeous arias of recollection and evocation, of elegy and heartbreak, Tregebov mourns, praises, prays, regrets, summons, celebrates, and bears witness with formidable artistry and tenderness (“You wouldn’t think the inanimate would get tired /but it does.”) Direct, never forced, keenly observant, and marked by scrupulous craft, these new poems unfold in beguiling, often breathtaking ways. They confirm Tregebov’s place among the most significant poets of her generation.
National Animal, Derek Webster’s second book of poetry, inhabits a wider public space than his acclaimed debut Mockingbird. In poems that extend beyond the biographical toward the political, Webster’s quiet, sharp-eyed narrator—a man “tripping / my way forward, trying to lead my own life”—watches history being erased in favour of more socially palatable ideas and comforting self-portraits. Uncompromising and substantial, National Animal explores our “civic moment” where "birds sing oblivion / estranged from all things," and meditates, in a final image-rich sequence, on our place in a science-based cosmos.
"Yoyo Comay's States of Emergency strikes as playful and precise; a lyrically-dense debut of hush and urgency, screeching calm across such restless, incredible silence."—rob mclennan
"For Yoyo Comay, poetry is an emergency room where the body of the human being and the world, torn apart, riddled with fear, can seek respite, kind hands, perhaps even healing. States of Emergency shivers with the voice of a unique new poet of relentlessly clear, if violent, vision."—A.F. Mortiz
"Yoyo Comay's States of Emergency is a soul-cry whittled into a dagger: this long form poem, visceral to its core, gives off the heat of an open wound. A descent into a controlled madness where 'harmonies of disaster/thaw and hatch.' A most assured debut."—Michael Redhill
“Yoyo Comay’s power to turn a phrase, however enigmatic, is startling. Reading States of Emergency, I feel like an oboe player encountering Jimi Hendrix.”—Richard Greene
Praise for Joe Fiorito:
"[Fiorito] is a master of sparsity—there are no wasted words here, no lingering sing-song rhymes or repetitive pentameter. Each word is carefully chosen, shaping each line with sometimes delicacy, sometimes bluntness. His pen is a scalpel. With a cool surgical incision he dissects memories."—Michael Sobota, Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal
“Fiorito proves himself a storyteller of remarkable gifts: there’s an aura of dignity and beauty over events, sometimes terrible, sometimes tender.”—Esquire
“Joe Fiorito writes like a rough-hewn angel.”—The Globe and Mail
“Fiorito has all the right stuff.”—Mordecai Richler