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Thirteenth Issue
Volume 7, No. 1
 





features

O Mordecai, Where Art Thou?
By Juan Rodriguez


fiction

Quebecite: A Jazz Fantasia In Three Cantos
Reviewed by Kelly Murphy

A House By The Sea
Reviewed by Ian McGillis

The Speaking Cure
Reviewed by Mark Heffernan

The Applecross Spell
Reviewed by Eleni Zisimatos Auerbach

Universal Recipients
Reviewed by Eleni Zisimatos Auerbach

Black Bird
Reviewed by X.I. Selene

A Sunday At The Pool In Kigali
Reviewed by Edward R. Smith

Song For My Father
Reviewed by Mary Soderstrom

The Heart Is An Involuntary Muscle
Reviewed by Kim Bourgeois

Another Book About Another Broken Heart
Reviewed by Poppy Wilkinson

Without Cease The Earth Faintly Trembles
Reviewed by Jessica Ticktin


fiction at a glance

After All!
Reviewed by Margaret Goldik

Moosehead Anthology #9: Career Suicide! Contemporary Literary Humour
Reviewed by Ian McGillis


non-fiction

Respectable Burial: Montreal's Mount Royal Cemetery
Reviewed by Margaret Goldik

Shoshanna's Story: A Mother, A Daughter, And The Shadows Of History
Reviewed by Elizabeth Johnston

Louis Riel
Reviewed by Philip Hawes

Tables For One: A Spanish Journal
Reviewed by Sarah Rosenfeld

Practice Imperfect
Reviewed by Joan Eyolfson Cadham

Ha! A Self-murder Mystery
Reviewed by Anne Cimon

Spoken Here: Travels Among Threatened Languages
Reviewed by Jill Rollins


non-fiction at a glance

Womankind
Reviewed by Margaret Goldik

A Love Of Reading: The Second Collection
Reviewed by Margaret Goldik

Entering The War Zone: A Mohawk Perspective On Resisting Invasions
Reviewed by Margaret Goldik

Drive I-95: Exit By Exit Info, Maps, History And Trivia
Reviewed by Margaret Goldik

Crooked Smile
Reviewed by Margaret Goldik

Four Hundred Brothers And Sisters
Reviewed by Margaret Goldik

After Notman: Montreal Views - A Century Apart
Reviewed by Ian McGillis



poetry

Snow Formations
Reviewed by Bert Almon

In The Worshipful Company Of Skinners
Reviewed by Bert Almon

Bamboo Church
Reviewed by Bert Almon

An Abc Of Belly Work
Reviewed by Bert Almon




young readers

Emma's Story
Reviewed by Carol-Ann Hoyte

The Mole Sisters And The Fairy Ring
Reviewed by Carol-Ann Hoyte

The Mole Sisters And The Way Home
Reviewed by Carol-Ann Hoyte

Learning With Animals
Reviewed by Carol-Ann Hoyte

Sink Or Swim
Reviewed by Carol-Ann Hoyte

Suki's Kimono
Reviewed by Carol-Ann Hoyte

Peter's Pixie
Reviewed by Carol-Ann Hoyte

A Friend For Sam
Reviewed by Carol-Ann Hoyte

Sam's First Halloween
Reviewed by Carol-Ann Hoyte

Tales Of Court And Castle
Reviewed by Carol-Ann Hoyte

Think For Yourself: A Kid's Guide To Solving Life's Dilemmas And Other Sticky Problems
Reviewed by Carol-Ann Hoyte

Nellie Mcclung: Voice For The Voiceless
Reviewed by Carol-Ann Hoyte




Bamboo Church
By Ricardo Sternberg
$16.95
paper 68 pp.
McGill-Queen's University Press 0-7735-2566-1
poetry


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New Document Ricardo Sternberg's poems offer pleasure. His forms are elegant: he loves three- and four-line stanza and even writes a sestina. He is not stiff or banal like some of the contemporary formalists: like the trapeze artist in one of his love poems, he makes the work appear effortless. He's a master of the love lyric. One of the best poems, "Mobius Strip," uses the metaphor of that peculiar ring of paper with a twist to describe the union of lovers in bed. The Mobius strip appears to have two sides yet has only one, a conceit the Metaphysical poets would have loved. He respects tradition without losing his originality. One of his poems, "The Fish," is a rewriting of an Elizabeth Bishop poem of the same name. Another, "Florida Reprieve," is a new take on the singing muse in Wallace Stevens's great poem, "The Idea of Order at Key West." "The Ant," Sternberg's retelling of an Aesop fable, has a wonderful phrase redolent of Stevens to describe the improvident grasshopper: "the jongleur of our meadows."

The extravagance (as in the root meaning, "wandering about") of his imagination is superb without straying into whimsy. He has a poem about an angel who joins the Moscow Circus, and he has written interesting poems about such unusual subjects as quarks or a millionaire who sneaks into heaven disguised as a camel. The Bible is one of his intertextual sources: he writes about the marital breakdown of Noah and his wife, the Tower of Babel, Jonah, and-most interesting of all-the birth of song out of Satan's lament for the fall of Eve. Only once does he miscalculate, with "Thumb," a poem which collects too much lore about that digit from history and science, generating a two-and-a- half page poem which lags quickly. The other poems have the rightness of external form inseparable from internal meanings. As with a Mobius strip, there is no disjunction between inner and outer: by some mystery of geometry a twist makes them into one. Sternberg's imagination makes that maneuver.

Bert Almon's newest book, Hesitation Before Birth, was published by Beach Holme Press.