7. Everything You Hold Dear by Jamie Sharpe (ECW, 2020) is working in the cynical mode of poetry of surreal, mechanical, process poetry where poems feel disenfranchised from the content part of heart. There’s two threads, one an abecedarian and the other not.
8. Peter F Yacht Club #29 (above/ground, 2020) is in a new smaller format, which is great because the full 8 1/2 x 11 don’t fit my shelves. Great poems by Monty Reid and Amanda Earl. A new one by me in there. I have extras if you want a copy. I believe it is part of an above/ground subscription. It’s like a mystery poetry party gift every few weeks.
9. Revery: A Year of Bees by Jenna Butler (Wolsak & Wynn, 2020) spends the first half in the long view. It feels like essays stitched together with some overlap between of province history and how beekeeping is changing from small scale and male to diverse. I wanted to know more field research of bee-life and other pollinators. That said, some things were interesting. For examples, bees can sense the chemistry of your mood so if upset don’t go near hives. Trees seal any air gaps with the gum gathered from unopened buds. Neat.
10. A Trip to the Zoo by MA|DE (Collusions Books, 2020) is a work of youthful energy. Now, maybe the collaborators aren’t as young as all that but it feels zesty peppy young. (And I’ve mislaid the chapbook somewhere in the house but it will surface.)
11. Orrery by Donna Kane (Harbour, 2020) I can’t say enough good about. I loved her previous book and was ecstatic/anxious to see that she had made another. This one exceeds the last. I read this twice. There’s something to the phrasing, the rhythms, the subjects, the world attitude. It delighted me.
12. Witches of Ash & Ruin by E. Latimer (Little, Brown & Co, 2020) is a curious book. There’s character development not just of the main character although with several points of view it begs the rules to work anyway and does. But it is brutal with stalking and serial killing and black magic and dysfunctional abusive relationships. Despotic for sure but page turner.