What We Talk About (if you don't have anything nice to say)
"What is obvious to the music nerds in one scene of High Fidelity—that latter-day Stevie Wonder is laughable—isn't always so obvious to readers when faced with the wobbly wonders of the poetry world. The subculture simply hasn't evolved, as pop music has, a collective taste that can be counted on to parse the truly cool from the humorously bland. Only a few scattered critics stubbornly insist on holding court, which is to say putting their own careers on trial with every opinion they hand down. Is this foolishness?"
When We Talk About (say it)
"I believe a review should offer some indication of what it was like to be at the author's mercy for however many pages the experience lasted. But more often than I expected, I found myself trying to extract a confession. What did the reviewer really feel about the book? Would he or she recommend it if asked? If our contributor remained coy, we were left with a noncommittal description of poems that "evoke," "provoke," "reflect," or "interlace" this with that—to what effect we were left to guess—the kind of report that gives credit neither to the book's author nor its potential readers; prose as boring to read as it must have been to write."
"While I’ve been decried as snarky by a few who’d prefer us all to sing Kumbaya and save the sniping for privates convos, and while I’ve had everything from my psychological well-being to my motives to my manly bits questioned, my actual motivation comes from nothing so much as a yen for a good scrum. I’m with Angela Carter, who said that a day without an argument is like an egg without salt. (I prefer pepper, myself.)"
March 19 at 7:30 p.m. at The Word Bookstore, 469 Milton St.
March 20 at 6:30 p.m. at Ben McNally Books, 366 Bay St.
March 21 at 6:30 p.m. at McMaster University, Council Chambers, Gilmour Hall, Room 111
March 22 at 4:30 p.m. at Biblioasis, 1520 Wyandotte St. East
Bring tha ruckus.