Virtual Chapbook Logo

by Jan Conn

On Sunday, May 21, 2006, Richard Summerbell wrote:

I have been an avid reader of Jan Conn's poetry for several years now and was delighted to come across this virtual chapbook, complete with photographs.  It is very hard to do justice to the exquisite and reverberant things one sees while travelling in the hot lands, let alone to the tropical forces inside all of us that get summoned up during these encounters.  Conn here takes us on a guided tour of what is really striking about Brazilian Amazonia as one begins to elucidate it both sensually and thoughtfully -- and also, soon enough, in dreams.

I craved more photos but being online, could just as easily use image search engines along the way to see what a jiboia was, an onca (though I rightly suspected an ounce, i.e., a jaguar), what a Zuñiga sculpture might look like, and so on.  In fact, every square, river, church, tree species and pop group Conn mentions is abundantly represented with online images, so taking the whole tour was rather fun.  But purist poetry readers might want to use inference alone, since there might be some magic in that, too.  One can hardly travel without running into wonderful specifics that are far outside the personal experience of some readers, but Jan has worked with this problem deftly, spilling out a multicoloured, multifabric skein of imagery that will wrap you up in the sensations of Amazonia whether or not you pause to examine every single thread in detail as I did.

Richard Summerbell

To leave a comment for Amazonia, click here.

Mulgrave Road
by Charles Bruce

On Tuesday, February 10, 2004, Dan Tompsett wrote:

I never even heard of Charles Bruce until I stumbled upon this site quite by accident last night. I am an avid reader of poetry, and I have got to say that the poems of Mr. Bruce are, in my opinion, some of the best I have ever read.

Thanks for making them available online. I am telling everyone I know that are into poetry, (about 100 people), about this site, so be prepared for traffic. heh.

Dan Tompsett

On Tuesday, February 11, 2003, Anna Mallinson wrote:

I found your Web site after reading about Charles Bruce in Books in Canada, the October 2002 issue, and only now have I had the great pleasure of reading the poems in your virtual chapbook. They seem as fresh as they must have seemed when they were first written, with a wonderful sense of cadence and voice. I am an habitual reader of poetry, and I am surprised that he was not brought to my attention before and delighted to discover him now.

Anna Mallinson

On Saturday, January 11, 2003, Betty Imlay wrote:

I am more than happy to find your site. I have long been an admirer of Charles Bruce and his writings, and I have collected as many of his works as I could find. Since I am of retirement age, these have been passed on to my children, who appreciate them.

Continue in your worthwhile publishings.

Sincerely, Betty Imlay

To leave a comment for Mulgrave Road, click here.

by Robert Majzels

There are no comments for this chapbook. To leave a comment, click here.

In a Cloud Forest
by Mark Abley

Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 07:22:01 -0400 (EDT)
From: Johnben Loy, Montreal

MESSAGE: I heard about the chapbook--specifically, this article--on CBC radio this morning (April 23rd, 1998), and I was curious to check it out. Although I did enjoy the article, the internet is still a place where I read for research purposes rather than for pleasure. So, I admit feeling somewhat impatient as the first few pages went on. However, the variations in length, content, and style as I progressed from page to page did manage to hold my attention. I'd say you have a workable approach. But something else is needed for me to come back to visit the page, perhaps more focus on specific topics.

I will tell some writer friends of mine about this page and ask them to submit a couple of comments.


Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 07:33:22 -0400 (EDT)
From: Sheila Horricks

MESSAGE: I like it. The sentences are well crafted, the diction perfect, the going from the web to the rain forest to the newsroom to the rain forest well timed. Not a false step I would say.

The screen design of the piece is good too - lot's of grey space, a small chunk of the "story", a different size every page. As I read it, staring at the grey screen, there was snow outside of my window instead of early spring sun, then the soft rain.

It has a lovely healing quality. A counteraction to cybrespace head.

Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 09:18:17 -0400 (EDT)
From: Kathy Trakakis, Montreal

MESSAGE: After having read this short story i am pleased to say that i rather enjoyed it. It's philosophical views as well as the profound thoughts and emotions described in it are what held my attention. We so often neglect what is hidden behind the information we take in,it is as if we are robots programmed to receive but not to truly understand. I have to say that this writer has alot of potential and it is wonderful that he took the time to stop and point such things out to the rest of us.

P.S: The e-mail address given above belongs to my english teacher, who recomended this site to me after hearing about it on CBC this morning.

Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 09:41:01 -0400 (EDT)
From: Anne Di Lauro, Montreal

MESSAGE: How refreshing to read Mr. A. Who carried me up and away

Dabbling as I do in developing country stuff, and computer stuff, and philosophical stuff, and writing stuff, I enjoyed how it all came together in your chap book piece. Thank you.

Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 14:03:38 -0400 (EDT)
From: Jacques Riopel, Montreal

MESSAGE: I enjoyed the story. At first, I was somewhat annoyed with the delay going from page to page. But the delay became part of the experience. The ether still ruled, it decides how fast or slow it will allow me to read on. While I waited, I had time to re-read parts of the page, never knowing when it would be replaced by the next one. Since I'm at work, i could also divert my attention to my other computer clamoring for attention, busily walking me through the installation of Windows 98.

Very nice. I got your URL from CBS Radio 1 this morning. Dave (the host) first read the URL with common non-techie pronunciation, but real wbbies knew backslashes from slashes, and tildes from whater he said. At least it gave him a reason to repeat it at 8:20 .

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