Julian Gunn

On Malice By Ken Babstock Coach House Books 94 pages, $17.95 Reviewed by Julian Gunn How can you tell signal from noise? What are fair and foul ways to assemble knowledge? Ken Babstock sets his exacting and accomplished fifth collection of poetry, On Malice, at the confluence of just these questions. Named a Globe & […]

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Lake of Two Mountains By Arleen Pare Brick Books 83 pages, $20 Reviewed by Julian Gunn Arleen Paré opens her Governor General’s Award-winning collection, Lake of Two Mountains, with “Distance Closing In,” a spare, moody poem with echoes of the Imagist poet H.D.: “sky collapsing from its bowl / shoreline waiting    taut / stones dark […]

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Garth Martens’ debut poetry collection, Prologue for the Age of Consequence, is a finalist for the 2014 Governor General’s Literary Awards, to be announced on Nov. 18. While working class masculinity has been a throughline of Canadian poetry in the work of poets like Patrick Lane, Martens’ poems, eloquent and brutal, are probably the most merciless […]

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Pen-in-Hand Poetry and Prose Reading Series Featured Readers (Sept. 15): John Barton, with Chris Gudgeon, Lukas Bhandar, and Yusuf Saadi Next reading: Oct. 20 Reviewed by Julian Gunn The Pen-in-Hand Poetry/Prose Reading Series takes place on the third Monday of every month at the Serious Coffee in Cook Street Village. September’s lineup featured celebrated local […]

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Gender Failure Ivan E. Coyote and Rae Spoon Arsenal Pulp Press 265 pages, $17.95 Reviewed by Julian Gunn And what a gorgeous failure it is. Gender Failure is the new book by performers, authors and musicians Ivan E. Coyote and Rae Spoon. Under its wry title, it succeeds on any terms you care to apply: […]

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Coastal Spectator contributor Julian Gunn recently sat down over coffee to chat with Kitty Lewis, the general manager of poetry publisher Brick Books. At this year’s League of Canadian Poets gala, Lewis received the League’s Honorary Life Membership Award. She insists that her contribution is to support the artistic vision of Brick founders Don McKay […]

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The Fleece Era Joanna Lilley Brick Books 105 pages, $20 Reviewed by Julian Gunn Joanna Lilley’s The Fleece Era is the discovery of Brick Books’ spring season, a first poetry collection with a subtle, shifting vision of ecological and human connection. Lilley is a transplant, raised in England and now living in the Yukon. Because […]

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April 29, 2014 Open Space, 510 Fort St, Victoria, B.C. Review by Julian Gunn  There was smoke in the streets of downtown Victoria the night of the Brick Books launch. A derelict garage a few blocks over had caught fire in the afternoon. Poets and their fans drifted towards Open Space through a hazy sunset, […]

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A Family By Any Other Name Edited by Bruce Gillespie Touchwood Editions 229 pages, $19.95 Reviewed by Julian Gunn A Family By Any Other Name, editor Bruce Gillespie’s latest anthology, invites its authors and readers to consider what queer families might look like now. The anthology is, above all, a snapshot of a fascinating moment […]

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Poet Marita Dachsel is the author of the new collection Glossolalia, and of the previous collection All Things Said & Done. Glossolalia is a re-imagining of the lives and voices of the 34 wives of Mormon founder Joseph Smith. Julian Gunn interviewed Daschel at the end of April for the Coastal Spectator. See the poet’s […]