Sunday, January 31, 2010
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Friday, January 29, 2010
Some editors tell their reviewers to abandon a book if they find that they have little or no affinity for it, and some newspapers and magazines will not print negative reviews. To me, this approach is intellectually dishonest. A good reviewer will be open minded enough to recognize the literary merits in a text that may not be the kind of thing she would choose to read for pleasure or that comes out of a tradition that is foreign to her own experience. A good reviewer recognizes that every act of criticism involves both a subjective and an objective aspect, and is able to conduct an appraisal of a work that (at least implicitly) acknowledges these different levels of reaction to a text.
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 7:02 PM
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Thanks to Josh for reminding me of this gem, still fresh 96 years later. Which means that most everything else is still stale.
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 3:50 PM
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 5:59 PM
Friday, January 15, 2010
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 3:00 PM
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 2:08 PM
Thursday, January 14, 2010
and they want 'em now!
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 8:57 AM
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Friday, January 8, 2010
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Jailbreaks: 99 Canadian Sonnets, Zach Wells (Ed.): You can’t read too many sonnets. It’s the one form that has been so well received and so versatile as to resist time’s ravages. This book contains a wonderful variety of sonnets from a number of well-known and lesser known sonneteers across the country. There are no particular topics that Wells has adhered to in the selecting, but has instead let quality and freshness be the deciding factor. Highs: Great poems all around, with some wonderful treasures I have not read and authors I had not been aware of at the time of reading. Lows: The majority of these poems are more contemporary, some of which are quite recent. This is admirable, but I think this was done at some cost to expressing past writers more fully. Generally speaking however, I do believe contemporary poets deserve plenty of exposure, so if this is Wells’ purpose he has succeeded brilliantly.
Track & Trace, Zach Wells: Speaking of Zach Wells, did you know he released a book of poems this year? As a proponent of metrical and formal verse he does a great job of showing his own skill at the craft. The art for the book, by the way, is done by Seth and is quite fitting for the volume. Highs: Some excellent poems here that cover a variety of settings and topics, but seem to focus more on the northern bounds of Canada and, in some places, Scotland. Wells has also provided us a volume of poetry that doesn’t contain much filler; there are 30-odd poems, keeping the contents trimmed to showcase more good poems, undiluted. Lows: I would have liked to see Wells attempt a variety of other poetic forms beyond sonnets and a couple other metrically driven structures. That said, the ones included are quite competently composed.
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 9:32 AM
Monday, January 4, 2010
Sunday, January 3, 2010
It was another eventful year for me and my family. A bit of a chronology of the year that was:
- Readings in Halifax, Cobourg, Toronto, Peterborough and other venues TBA
- The March publication of The Essential Kenneth Leslie by The Porcupine's Quill, a book I'm very proud to have edited
- The resumption of something resembling regular train work come summer
- The construction, finances permitting, of a backyard office/studio shack
- The fall publication of my selected prose. Much work remains to be done on this, which will be aided by Kaleb going into daycare three days a week this month.
- Spending an entire year living in the same house. The last time this happened was 2005. Before that, 1990. Which explains a lot about the titles of my two poetry collections...
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 4:40 AM
Saturday, January 2, 2010
and fact, why not slap a handy spandrel--
the ornamented panel between an arch
and its right-angled box--on the spot?
It slots so neatly, like a spanner
in the gears of a clock. Stare long enough
at the air beneath the string of a stair
(where we store bucket, mop and excess stuff
--unless a second stair's secreted there),
or at the circumflected hats about
the peg (round) in the hole (square)
that indicate an absent "s" and tell
us how and where to stress a vowel's sound,
and you're bound to have ideas expand
and spread into spearheads arrowed,
however off-mark, straight at the bowels
of this perplexus. So what if they bounce
back? So what if what they posit's merely
noumenal, nominal, epiphenomenal?
So what if it's a scoundrel's tack
which does nothing so much as explain
the by-catch of your hyperactive brain?
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 11:36 AM
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 5:49 AM
Friday, January 1, 2010
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 8:38 AM
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 5:53 AM