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Books and Chapbooks read in 2016, part 1

Funny, some knock you flat like the roadrunner beeping thru and you recall nothing later. Others stick with you like a sea anemone on a ocean snail.

Particularly Recommended in bold

  1. A Profession of Hope: Farming on the Edge of Grizzly Trail by Jenna Butler (Wolsak & Wynn, 2015) — gives a look at how they turned a northern swamp into a working farm at the edge of a gorgeous wilderness
  2. Failed Haiku edited by Mike Rehling, (issue 1, 2016) — a monthly magazine of senryu, some comic
  3. A Splash of Water: Haiku Society of America Member Anthology 2015 (HNA, 2015) — an anthology around the theme that isn’t as redundant as the risk it takes. Decent.
  4. This Day Full of Promise: Poems selected and new by Michael Dennis (Broken Jaw, 2001) — an older book of his plain spoken poetry
  5. poems for jessica-flynn by Michael Dennis (not one cent of subsidy press, 1986) — instant poems recorded in a store front window
  6. Whiskey Jack by Milton Acorn (HMS, 1986) — surprised me with their versatile tones, elegance even
  7. Debbie: An Epic by Lisa Robertson (A New Star Book, 1997) — blows me away from a typesetting point of view. yes, you can do that on a page.
  8. Tells of the Crackling by Hoa Nguyen (Ugly Duckling Press, 2015)
  9. Said like reeds or things by Mark Truscott (Coach House, 2004) —  third reread at least of minimalist gems
  10. The Best Canadian Poetry 2015, edited by Jacob McArthur Mooney (Tightrope, 2015) — not as varied as the year before but solid poems in there
  11. The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester (Oxford University Press, 2003) — utterly fascinating look at how the dictionary came into being. geeked out.
  12. Why We Write: Conversations With African Canadian Poets and Novelists, edited by H Nigel Thomas (TSAR, 2006) – good intro to various people
  13. The Beggar’s Opera by Peggy Blair (Penguine, 2012) — suspenseful. led to me reading the whole series
  14. PCB Jam by Lynne Kositsky (Unfinished Monument Press, 1981) — a forgotten first chapbook
  15. Talking Into the Ear of A Donkey: Poems by Robert Bly (WW Norton & Co, 2011) — pleasing gentle poems
  16. I’m not crazy…I’m allergic by Sherilyn Powers (Friesen Press, 2015) — illuminating ideas of how allergies and the immune system interact
  17. The Goddess and the Bull: Catalhoyuk: An Archeological Journey to the Dawn of Civilization by Michael Balter (Free Press, 2005) — good info but annoying narrator who makes the history more of his autobiography
  18. The Poisoned Pawn by Peggy Blair (Penguin, 2012) — awesome sit down and read the whole crime fiction mystery ghost story to 2 am
  19. Gender Failure by Rae Spoon and Ivan E Coyote (Arsenal Pulp, 2014) — in two voices, Rae Spoon’s less polished but both interesting
  20. Pawpaw: In Search of America’s Forgotten Fruit by Andrew Moore (Chlelsea Green, 2015) — super fascinating obsession into following this fruit all over North America and into history.
  21. Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude by Ross Gay (University of Pittsburgh Press: Pitt Poetry Series, 2015) — a gorgeous piece of writing that utterly satisfied
  22. The Last Maasai Warriors: an autobiography by Wilson Meikuaya and Jackson Ntirkana (Me to We Press, 2012)
  23. Animal Husbandry Today: Poems by Jamie Sharpe (ECW, 2012) — interesting pov of two boys who grew up traditionally and the no-outsiders safety wall broken by the Christian mission propelling the kids into the west
  24. Map: Collected and Last poems by Wisława Szymborska, translated by Clare Cavanagh and Stanislaw Batanezak (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015) — a wide scope. might be better to have read individual books
  25. heisting hesse by guy r. beining (unarmed press, 2016)
  26. Bodymap by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha (Mawenzi House, 2015) — life-affirming, kick-ass standing ground as a disabled person with a full-on unapologetic life
  27. Thirsty, by Dionne Brand (M&S, 2002) — political, hard and raw
  28. A Tower for the Summer Heat by Li Yu trans by Patrick Hanan (Ballantine Books, 1992, 1658) — vivid old stories of life in China then
  29. Homer’s Odyssey: A fearless feline tale by Gwen Cooper (Delacorte, 2009)— if you love cats…
  30. Snow Flower And The Secret Fan by Lisa See (Random House, 2005) –living inside the perspective of opium-era, foot-binding China
  31. Something Crosses My Mind by Wang Xiaonim trans by Eleanor Goodman (Zephyr Press, 2014)
  32. The Other 23 & a half hours or Everything you wanted to know that your MFA didn’t teach you by Catherine Owen (Wolsak & Wynn, 2015)— useful with or without an MFA, a look at who does what in CanLit
  33. Serpentine Loop by Elee Kraljii Gardiner (Anvil, 2016)— stories of figure skating and community
  34. Cockeyed: A Memoir by Ryan Knighton (Penguin, 2006) — the autobiography of a comedian who became legally blind and his journey of admitting it and adapting
  35. Reluctant Genius: The Passionate and Inventive Mind of Alexander Graham Bell by Charlotte Gray (Harper Collins, 2006) — more than you ever suspected of the lives of the Bells. Detailed and interesting.
  36. this is a love poem but let’s not be too straight forward about it by Philip Gordon (words(on)pages, 2015)— moving passionate poems
  37. How Poetry Saved My Life: A Hustler’s Memoir by Amber Dawn (Arsenal Pulp, 2013)
  38. Chewing Water by Nelson Ball (A Stuart Ross Book, 2016) — sweet and plain but not blunt, short poems that are endearing
  39. Odds Are by Larry Timewell (above/ground, 2016)
  40. Beauty/Beauty by Rebecca Perry @poorsasquatch (Bloodaxe, 2015)
  41. Bodies Vs. by Adam Zachary (words(on)pages press, 2016) — short fictions of mod gothic
  42. Guthrie Clothing: The poetry of Phil Hall, a Selected Collage (lps, 2015)
  43. I don’t know what you need by Jeff Blackman (Horsebroke Press, 2016) — leaves a warm fuzzy feeling as afterglow
  44. Redrafting Winter by Alison Strumberger and Gillian Sze (Buschek, 2015) — interesting correspondences
  45. 19 Ways of Looking at Wang Wei by Eliot Weinberger & Octavio Paz (Asphodel Press, 1987) — juxtaposing translations and their reasons
  46. Yiddish for Pirates by Gary Barwin (Penguin Random House, 2016) — what a giddy ride thru Yiddish against the Spanish genocide of Jewish people
  47. Wax Lyrical by Klara du Pleases (Anstruther Press, 2015)
  48. Noon, issue 11, (Noon Press, 2016) — a masterclass in short forms
  49. Oedipus Rex by Sophocles: unabridged trans by Sir George Young (Dover)
  50. Clearings: Poems from Stillness by Willow-Marie Power (real.being press, 2016)
  51. A sparrow came down resplendent: poems by Stuart Ross (Buckrider, 2016)
  52. Canthius: Issue 2: spring, 2016, ed by Claire Farley & Cira Nickel
  53. An Innocent in Ireland: Curious Rambles and Singular Encounters by David McFadden (McClelland & Stewart, 1995) — road trip anecdotes are pleasant Sunday read
  54. Late Victorians by Vincent Colistro (Signal, 2016) — tight poems
  55. Salvage: poems by Michael Crummey (M&S, 2002)
  56. Floating is Everything by Sheryda Warrener (Nightwood Editions, 2015)
  57. Assi Manifesto by Natasha Kanapé Fontaine, trans by Howard Scott — spoken word anthems
  58. Small Fires by Kelly Norah Drukker (McGill-Queens, 2016)
  59. My Dinosaur by François Turcot trans by Erin Moure (bookThug, 2016)
  60. Gorillas in the Mist by Dian Fossey (Houghton Mifflin, 1983) — glad to finally read it
  61. The Red Files by Lisa Bird-Wilson (Nightwood Editions, 2016)— moving accounts of what the Reconciliation is about
  62. Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge (Amulet, 2011)— graphic novel
  63. Load Poems Like Guns: Women’s Poetry from Herat Afghanistan, ed, trans by Farzana Marie (Holy Cow Press, 2015) — many of the poets struck down in their 20s. What might have happened to their work if they weren’t killed?
  64. Songs of Exile by Banoo Zan (Guernica Editions, 2016)
  65. How Festive the Ambulance: Poems by Kim Fu (Nightwood Editions, 2016)
  66. I take off my disguise by Beverly Cummings (Baton Press, 2016)
  67. A Good Death by Beverly Cummings (BooksInPrint, 2011)
  68. The Wedding Officer, Anthony Capella (2007) — romance taking place in WWII’s Italian eruption of volcano. Well put-together
  69. Mãn by Kim Thuy, trans by Sheila Fischman (Random House, 2014)
  70. Umbrella Man by Peggy Blair (Simon & Schuster Canada, 2016)
  71. BafterC, vol 8, no 1 (BookThug, 2016)
  72. Meditation Placentae: poems by Monty Reid (Brick, 2016)— I want to collect every book he’s ever made. All good.
  73. Failed Haiku, issue 6 (June 2016)
  74. illiterature, issue six (Puddles of Sky Press, 2016) — such utter fun of content and form
  75. Where Did You See It Last? ~ Stephen Brockwell (Textualis Press, 2016) — nice collection!
  76. Sailing into the Moon: Haiku Canada Members’ Anthology 2016
  77. River-Places: poems by Bruce Lumsden Serigraphs by David Hunsberger (Stonegarden Studios, 2015) –lovely art
  78. Homes: poems by Phil Hall (Black Moss, 1979) — oldie but novelty now
  79. Vanishing Act by Giles Blunt (Exile, 2016)
  80. Keep it Terse by Beverly Cummings (Loose Cannon Press, 2014) — moving and articulate
  81. In this light by Gary Ewing (Puddles of Sky, 2016)
  82. Argonauts by Maggie Nelson (Greywolf, 2015) — maybe overranked but pretty darn good
  83. The Decisive Moment by Cartier-Bresson, Henri, 1908-2004 ([Göttingen] : Steidl, 1952, 2014) Edition: American edition.— interesting
  84. Escape from Baxters’ Farm written & delightfully illustrated by Rebecca Bond (2015) YA novel – heartwarming

Related posts:

  1. Framework: Words on the land 2016 Reading and Conversation with 10 Writers at Fieldwork. Featuring: Natale Ghent, Katherine Graham, John K. Grande, Helen Humphreys, Jonathan Kaplansky, Monty Reid, Sandra Ridley, John Steffler, Alissa York and Pearl...
  2. 95books, 2016 I post the 2016 reads on twitter (@pesbo). I used to heavily hyperlink the summary posts but that add 3x the time. Maybe links mean that publishers and writers can more...
  3. Chapbooks and Spine Books and Green Wind Those of you in America know that March is Small Press Month in the U.S. A publicity for it uses this: “Small presses take chances. Chances are at the heart...

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