Thursday, August 02, 2007

New Quarterly Review of Little Eurekas

A short review of Robyn Sarah's Little Eurekas by New Quarterly editor Kim Jernigan. For those interested and on the ubiquitous Facebook, there's a discussion on the Biblioasis page about Robyn Sarah and poetry in Canada.

The new issue of the New Quarterly -- 103, with Biblioasis' Kathleen Winter on the cover -- is a real treat. An excellent interview with Kathleen and three stories; a story, 3 poems and an interview with Isabel Huggan; short plays by Michael Crummey, Lisa Moore and (Kathleen's brother) Michael Winter; essays on writing by Steven Heighton and Douglas Glover; and last but not least, an essay by Mike Barnes on psychotropic drugs called 'Vaster than Empires: Tales of the Tropane Alkaloids." I'll be dipping into this one as soon as I finish this post.

There are other decent literaries out there, but for my money The New Quarterly is the best out there. This issue is cheap at $12.

The review...

Kim Jernigan Editor, The New Quarterly

Little Eurekas: A Decade's Thoughts on Poetry by Robyn SarahI'm currently reading Robyn Sarah's Little Eurekas: A Decade's Thoughts on Poetry. This lively collection of essays, many of them first published in The New Quarterly, explores "all aspects of a life in poetry: reading it, writing it, teaching it, editing it, publishing it, reviewing it." Sarah's own prose is immensely readable. She approaches each of her topics with a certain unknowingness but a great deal of concern about the question. We get to see, not preconceived ideas, but a mind at work. I was particularly taken with her analyses of individual poems, including a long essay on the work of the late George Johnston in which she shows how glancingly he illuminates deep things through seemingly innocent surface detail. The book ends with a series of conversations with other poets, a lively give-and-take in which we're allowed to see how provisional any poetic manifesto is, including her own. If you love poetry, this is your book.

Read Little Eurekas: A Decade's Thoughts on Poetry by Robyn Sarah

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