Friday, April 14, 2006

Reader's Diary #73- Kate Braid and Sandy Shreve (editors): In Fine Form (up to Sestina)

I've been a little critical of Braid and Shreve's selections lately, mostly due to what I feel is an over-abundance of exceptions to specific form criteria. However, I would like to get it on record that for the most part I am happy with their choices. What impresses me most is the variety. Alongside such classic poets as Pratt, Purdy, Cohen and Nowlan, they have quite a lot of younger, more contemporary poets and I think this is necessary to see where form poetry is headed. For instance, Anita Lahey, Elizabeth Bachinsky, Joe Denham were all born in the 70s (and since I was too, I'm calling them young). There's even a few poets from the 80s, such as David Reibetanz and Jodi A. Shaw. I'm also impressed with representations from aboriginal peoples, such as Aua (an Inuk poet), and Gregory Scofield (a Cree poet). Other cultures have contributions as well, such as Thuong Vuong-Riddick and Kuldip Gill. Such a country as ours, with as much diversity as we have, deserves a book like this.

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