Thursday, January 06, 2011

All This Could Be Yours

Last week in the National Post, Poetry Reviews Editor Michael Lista selected his top five poetry books of the season, and Josh Trotter's magnificent debut All This Could Be Yours was the only Canadian title to make the cut, claiming its place besides titles by Giacomo Leopardi, Paul Muldoon, Don Paterson, and Christian Wiman. On the lack of Canadian-authored titles Lista wrote:

Finally: Of the five, there’s only one book published by a Canadian. But contrary to the logic of the Can-Con quota mentality, I think that artificially handicapping Canadian artists, and including their work for broadcast or publication based on any rubric other than their merits — as measured against the merits of their international peers — only prolongs the cultural and artistic infancy that necessitated the coddling in the first place.

And of Trotter's All This could Be Yours:

Joshua Trotter’s long-awaited debut is here, and it’s every bit as good as we’d hoped. His poems have the one maker’s mark of authenticity that absolutely cannot be faked: a fresh style that holds novelty and tradition in creative tension. And this is no small feat, considering that almost all of Trotter’s poems are written in iambic pentameter, a good number of them are sonnets, and lots of them rhyme. His sonnets, in fact, are something of a wonder: He manages to recreate the form, with its historical baggage and predisposition to gigantism, in a way that makes it sound as distinctly his as Lowell or Berrigan did. By turns funny and terrifying, airy and claustrophobic, non-representational and razor-sharp, Trotter is stock to buy early and hold.

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