Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Burdens of Office

Linda Rogers, preparing to share someone's pain

When Victoria's poet laureate Linda Rogers read this mildly critical review of her new book, she didn't want to respond. But when she realized the injustice that was being done not only to herself, but to the city she represents and the victims of the Haitian earthquake, she just had to. No one said being a poet laureate was going to be easy.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Upcoming Reading

I'll be reading with Alice Burdick and Rachel Lebowitz at the Halifax Public Library (Spring Garden Rd. branch) this coming Tuesday--Groundhog Day!--at 7 pm. More here. Hope you can make it.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Steven W. Beattie on Reviewing

A topic he knows very well. All of his answers are quotable, but I particularly like this:

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.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

"Mr. Wells dreams into the extravagant ecstasies of the fanatic"

Thanks to Josh for reminding me of this gem, still fresh 96 years later. Which means that most everything else is still stale.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Jackpine Sonnets

I learned today that the good folks at Geist are holding a jackpine sonnet contest. I don't usually enter poetry competitions, but this one's sorely tempting. I've written many jackpine sonnets (such as the recently published "I", which I thought would be a more orthodox sonnet at first, but click, it insisted on ending 11 lines in) over the years and to some degree the jackpine principle informs my whole approach to stanza and meter--i.e., do it by ear, not according to a prescribed set of rules. The jackpine principle is also in evidence in many, if not most, of the sonnets in Jailbreaks (the title was chosen in part to hint at that).

Anyway, it's good to see people actively keeping Acorn's legacy alive. There's been not quite enough of that, it seems to me.

Friday, January 15, 2010


a poem by PK Page

And at the moment of death
what is the correct procedure?

Cut the umbilical, they said.

And with the umbilical cut
how then prepare the body?

Wash it in sacred water.
Dress it in silk for the wedding.

I wash and iron for you
your final clothes
(my heart on your sleeve)
wishing to wash your flesh
wishing to close
your sightless eyes

nothing remains to do

I am a vacant house

More on PK Page

There's a lovely Page obit on Quill & Quire's site.

Cormorant Reborn

Cormorant Books is opportunistically following the money ... and re-starting their poetry list! In Robyn Sarah, they've got one of the best heads in the biz picking their list. I'm very curious to see what she does with it. Maybe, just maybe, a new Bruce Taylor collection. A boy can dream. I'm very glad to hear that she'll be doing anthologies and reprints as well.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sad News

I just found out that P.K. Page, one of the few indisputably world class figures in Canadian poetry, has died at 93. A full and varied life.

Here's a recording of me reading Ms. Page's "Only Child"

More to follow.

Stuart and Stephen want your love poems to Stephen Harper

and they want 'em now!

Comrade poet!

Since Parliament has been prorogued, you're probably just sitting on your
hands, bereft. But things are looking up!

You are invited to submit a poem for consideration for a new anthology to be
published by Mansfield Press just in time for the reconvening of Parliament
on March 3.

The collection is titled Rogue Stimulus: The Stephen Harper Holiday
Anthology for a Prorogued Parliament. We're looking for poems of up to 75
lines: your tender musings on Stephen Harper.

We have to move fast. The deadline is midnight on Tuesday, January 19.
Payment for your contribution is one copy of the anthology. It's gonna look
good and it's gonna be full of good poems.

The editors of Rogue Stimulus are Ottawa poet Stephen Brockwell and
Toronto/Cobourg poet Stuart Ross. Denis De Klerck, publisher of Toronto
literary house Mansfield Press, is oiling up the machinery for quick action,
to ensure the anthology's timely release.

Please email your poem (preferably as a Word attachment) to:

We look forward to hearing from you.

Stephen and Stuart

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Review online

My review of Margaret Avison's posthumous biography is now online at Quill & Quire.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

CNQ Blog

Guess the headline gives it away: CNQ is now blogging. Check it out!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Behind the 8-Ball

As promised--and I know, gentle readers, that you've been itching in anticipation--my Q&A session with Jonathan Ball. Get at 'er!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Odi et Amo

Ange Mlinko on reviewing.

Stephen Rowe's Roundup

Stephen Rowe has posted a roundup of his 2009 reading over on his blog. It includes some commentary on both Jailbreaks and Track & Trace:

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.

I've nothing to say about his evaluative comments, but a couple of factual errors need to be addressed. Only one of the poems in T&T is set in a northern Canadian locale ("Mussel Mud," versions of which appeared in my first book, which is entirely set in northern locations) and one in Scotland ("Orkney Report"). The other 32 are set, explicitly or otherwise, in PEI, Montreal, Vancouver, New Westminster, Halifax, Diligent River (NS) and Nowhere-in-Particular, so I'm a bit puzzled by Stephen's geography.

Also, depending on how you count such things, around 15 of the 34 poems in T&T are neither sonnets (including very loose sonnets like "He Learns Faith in His Instincts" and "Water Works," which have neither rhyme scheme nor meter), nor metrical, nor stanzaic, but different variations on free verse, so it's not strictly accurate to state that I attempted only "sonnets and a couple other metrically driven structures."

Monday, January 4, 2010

"shotgunned into existence"

Carmine Starnino on idleness, boredom, dumb luck, dildos and other indispensables of the craft.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

First poem published in 2010

My poem "I"--that's the pronoun, not the Roman numeral, tho "looking out for no. 1" lurks somewhere behind--is now up at Encore Literary Magazine.

2009 Year in Review

It was another eventful year for me and my family. A bit of a chronology of the year that was:

March: moved out of our apartment in East Vancouver and went nomad for a couple of months, squatting with relatives and travelling to Scotland, where we spent an unforgettable week in Stromness, Orkney and another several days in Edinburgh.

April: After flying back to this continent and travelling by train from Montreal to Halifax, we moved back into our house in Halifax's North End. When we moved to Vancouver, we didn't know how permanent or temporary a move it would be, so we held on to the house, renting it out in our absence. Ultimately, a smart move for us. Vancouver proved just to expensive for folks with our predilections. We want to spend as much time as possible reading and writing and parenting. In Halifax, we can live in our own house at considerably less expense than renting a dark basement suite in Vancouver. Not an easy move, as Rachel's family is all in Vancouver, but one that makes sense for us.

June: The recession, which had to this point only been good news for our household (floating interest rate on our mortgage) finally caught up to us. Diminished tourism led to diminished railroad ridership, which meant that for the first year since I started working for Via Rail in 2004, I was not recalled from layoff. I did pick up scraps of work, but it was a lean summer and has led to a lean winter. The upside is that I've been able to spend more time at home, watching the awfully exciting stages of my son's development.

July: Kaleb turns 1.

August: Because I was getting so little work and Rachel and Kaleb were in Vancouver for a visit, I did a bit of touring on my motorcycle, making a trip to PEI (where I visited my parents as well as my uncle and his good friend Bill Hawkins, legendary Ottawa poet, songwriter and cabbie); an overnight visit to my sister and brother-in-law in Diligent River, NS, where I went for a tandem paragliding flight (awesome!); and finally a multi-day jaunt to Grand Manan Island, where I stayed with Wayne Clifford and Mary Joan Edwards at their newly constructed retirement haven and took part in Wayne's very successful multi-book launch.

August: Kaleb starts walking and never looks back.

September: I turn 33 and it changes nothing. I have no more hair to lose and notice that, of the hairs that remain, more and more of 'em are white.

October: Track & Trace is published, beautifully, by Biblioasis.

November: Successful and enjoyable promotional readings/launches in Ottawa and Toronto.

November: Just as I'm getting prepared to find some crummy work to make up for all the money I didn't get in 2009, a wonderful gift lands in my lap: a contract to work as a freelance editor for Reader's Digest. So far, I'm really enjoying the work and its flexible, home-based hours. This kind of thing might just be my eventual ticket out of wage slavery--but I'm not giving up my Via Rail pass just yet...

December: Rachel's mother visits from Vancouver. We have a great time, including a couple of nights and xmas dinner at my folks' place in PEI.

In general: As usual, I published a number of reviews and essays over the course of the year and published far more poems than I usually do, in various magazines and anthologies.

Things I'm looking forward to in 2010 (which is the actual final year of the decade, for all of you who've been mistakenly saying it's over; remember, there was no year 0):

  • 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...

Saturday, January 2, 2010


for Stephen Jay Gould

Should you wish to span the gap between fact
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?

A snappy little interview

Jonathan Ball throws 8 Q's at Maurice Mierau, who provides 8 thoughtful A's. Jonathan has thrown yours truly the same 8 Q's. My A's, alas, are much less thoughtful than Maurice's, altho there is some interesting overlap. My interview's not up yet, but I will of course let you know when it is.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Carmine's Bestest

Carmine Starnino has posted some 2009 highlights at the Vehicule blog. He names Track & Trace the best-designed collection of the year. I can, with no immodesty, say that I agree. I did have some input into the design, especially the typesetting and back cover layout (no blurby prose, praise be), but that's a far cry from actually laying the thing out, which Seth and Dennis Priebe have done impeccably. Please feel free to judge my book by its cover.

Books I Read This Year that You Should Read Too

Okay, so here's my roundup, broken down by genre and organized alphabetically. I didn't read nearly as many books as I usually do this year, in large measure because I was reading a lot of stuff online and in manuscript. I hope to read more books in 2010, but increasingly find I have to make the time for it.



George MacKay Brown, Beside the Ocean of Time. Please overlook the horrible title. I read this Booker-winning novel while staying in a stone cottage across the square from Brown's old apartment in Stromness, Orkney. It has weak spots, but overall a very moving kunstlerroman.

Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita. I read Bulgakov's short novel Heart of a Dog in undergrad and loved it, but it's nowhere near as brilliant as this masterpiece of satire. Absolutely wild book.

William Faulkner, Light in August. Great novel. It took me a while, after reading The Sound and the Fury in undergrad, to come back to Faulkner, but I'm so glad I did. An incredible stylist and an epic imagination. This book is a precocious look at black-white tensions in the US south and is full of narrative drama. It's also quite a bit more straightforward (i.e. less polyvocal) than other Faulkner stories.

Rawi Hage, Deniro's Game. The only Canadian novel I read in 2009, I came to it after reading the equally brilliant Cockroach. Is there anyone writing fiction as audacious and tough as Hage's? If so, please point them out to me.

Knut Hamsun, Pan. A taut and pyschologically intense little novel about a reclusive soldier/hunter and the tempestuous relationship he has with a young woman. This is the first Hamsun novel I've read, after meaning to for many years. I'll be reading more.

Imre Kertesz, Fatelessness. This is the second Kertesz novel I've read (the other being Liquidation) and I'll be reading more. An unflinching portrait of one young man's experience in Nazi concentration camps, it resists the easy answers and binary thinking that must be so tempting when writing about such subjects. Very powerful.

Halldor Laxness, The Atom Station. I'll read anything by Laxness. A sharp satirical novel about what was, at its time of writing, contemporary Iceland. Every one of Laxness' books that I've read has been markedly different from the others. This isn't on the same level as Independent People, Iceland's Bell or World Light, but still a great read.

Cormac McCarthy, The Crossing. I've been reading a fair bit of McCarthy lately. This is the second book in the Border Trilogy, but can be read on its own. Truly epic story of a boy who traps a wolf on his father's Texas ranch and winds up taking the wolf back to Mexico, whence it came. Over the course of the book, the boy, as he ages, makes several trips back and forth across the border. Beautiful writing, as one expects from McCarthy, but not much of the over-the-top excess that mars Blood Meridian.

Yukio Mishima, After the Banquet. I love Mishima; he's the sort of novelist I read once every year or two, wanting to save his work so it lasts longer. This is a pyschologically piercing story of a successful, ambitious middle-aged female restaurateur who falls in love with an older retired politician. The two are, in many ways, opposites and when she involves herself in his campaign for election, things come to a dramatic head. Mishima's ability to write convincingly of a female protagonist is truly remarkable.

Non Fiction

Amir Aczel, Pendulum. Leon Foucault and the Triumph of Science. Fascinating book about the massive contributions to science made by the "amateur" Foucault.

Kathryn Borel, Corked. One always reads books by friends and acquaintances with trepidation, but I soon got over it with Kathryn's memoir of a wine tour in France with her eccentric French oenophile father. There are a few passing instances of strained over-writing to be found in Corked, but it's hilarious and poignantly moving by turns, and has a wicked surprise denouement.

Bruce Chatwin, Anatomy of Restlessness. A somewhat uneven gathering of selected prose. Well worth reading for its highlights. Chatwin had a brilliant mind.

Robert Dessaix. The Twilight of Love: Travels with Turgenev. Unorthodox work of travel writing and literary criticism, much like similar works by Geoff Dyer. I've never read Turgenev and am not sure I want to after reading this book, but it's hardly a pre-requisite. The Twilight of Love stands alone beautifully.

Jared Diamond, Collapse. Great book about how societies succeed and fail. Looking at case studies from the distant past to the present, Diamond has excellent insights into what we might do to avoid catastrophe in the decades to come.

Czeslaw Milosz: The Captive Mind. A penetrating behind-the-iron-curtain look at the psychology and public roles of artists in totalitarian societies.

Edwin Muir, An Autobiography. I read this in preparation for my trip to Scotland, and I'm glad I did. I've read few autobiographies so stoic and honest. It helps that Muir led a very interesting, parapatetic existence. Highly recommended.

Shane Neilson, ed. Approaches to Poetry: The Pre-Poem Moment. I have a copy of this book because I contributed a poem and essay to it. The assignment was to choose a poem of my own and to write an essay explaining how the poem came about. I have to admit that I was leery of doing so, as writing critically about one's own poem can impose a reading on it that can be hard to shake. And I'm of the school that believes that if a poem can't stand on its own, then it can't be that good; a poem, to borrow from Peter Van Toorn, "like a bronze pope ... salutes no one." But I wound up writing something I'm actually quite pleased with. And, with the exception of a couple of duds, this anthology is full of such surprises.

Maryanne Wolf, Proust and the Squid. A fascinating book about reading, filled with scientifically-informed insights into the hows, whens and whys of learning this most unnatural of skills.


John Berryman, 77 Dream Songs. I'd read excerpts of this classic book many times, but this is the first time I sat down and read it thru. Love it. I'll be reading more Berryman in months to come. It's a bit of a mystery why this work should so often be lumped in with the "confessional" mode because it's so much broader than that.

Walid Bitar, The Empire's Missing Links. Bitar's a hard poet to pin down and I think he likes it that way. Both "traditional" and "experimental," these are poems that make you confront them on their own terms. What those terms are is hard to figure out, but is well worth the effort. Reviewed in Arc.

Robert Bringhurst, Selected Poems. Of all the poets associated with the eco-poetry school in Canada, Bringhurst is the most consistently impressive. Not all of his work rings my bell, but there is nothing sloppy about any of it. And the best is as good as anything that's been written here over the last few decades. The polyphonic poems that occupy a hefty section of this book are very hard to read on one's own; they really seem to be begging for a top-notch audio publication. Reviewed in Arc.

Gerry Cambridge, Aves. A beautiful little book I picked up at the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh, this is a sequence of prose poems about specific bird species. Very much in the tradition of John Clare's close, naturalistic observation, these poems come far closer to the ideals of nature poetry than Don McKay's veiled autobiographies could ever hope to.

Wayne Clifford, Learning to Dance with a Peg Leg: Three Dozen Tunes for a Third Mate and Jane Again. Wayne's a good friend of mine and one of the most inventive poets going. Peg Leg is an older book, but only recently published as a gorgeous ltd. ed. production by Frog Hollow Press. The poems are fun and tender and full, as one expects with Wayne, of musical verve. Jane Again is Wayne's re-imagining of Yeats' Crazy Jane character. This book contains some of my very favourite of Wayne's poems, including the unforgettable "Jane Testifies." I had a bit of a hand in matching book to publisher, of which I'm very proud.

Joe Denham, Windstorm. I've been having arguments lately about this book. It's very different from Denham's debut, Flux, which made a big impression when it came out in 2003 and garnered him several anthologizations. I think it's a big leap forward, a gutsy move away from some of the more juvenile content of his first book. Others think it's a giant misstep. It's bound to polarise people, I think, because, as one long poem sequence, it's not really possible to like part of it and hate other parts, as I did with Flux. I think it's one of the very best books of poetry published last year, but it isn't an easy read, being syntactically dense and sinuous. As a personal and political/ecological meditation, it draws more on Dante, Rilke and Hopkins, as well as on Denham's actual firsthand frontline experience as a fisherman and timber framer, than it does on trendy concerns. Review forthcoming in Quill & Quire.

Jeramy Dodds, Crabwise to the Hounds. Jeramy's a good friend of mine and I had a bit of an editorial hand in a few of these poems, so I was glad to see it get so much attention. That attention can be a bit of a curse, tho: how can a book possibly live up to that much hype. Ultimately, I don't think it does, but I still think it's a remarkably good debut and one that certainly stands out from the crowd. I think it will be eclipsed, however, by the work Jeramy's doing now translating the Norse Edda.

Catherine Graham, Pupa. An underrated poet; the super-compressed lyrics of this book make a most unusual music and are quite convincing treatments of grief.

Jason Guriel, Pure Product. Following a solid but unexceptional debut, Guriel really comes into his own in this book. Sharp, zippy little poems in a sharp, zippy little book. The poem's economy belies their intellectual expansiveness. And they're fun! One of the most purely entertaining books of verse I read this year.

Jen Hadfield, Nigh-No-Place. I picked this book up while holidaying in Scotland--only to discover that Hadfield is a secret Canadian. The book's been enormously successful, netting its young author a coveted TS Eliot Prize. And it's well-deserved. I love the vernacular earthiness and formal inventiveness of Hadfield's poems. And I expect the best is yet to come from her. (Read my post on Hadfield here.)

James Langer, Gun Dogs. This book got a bit of tough love from Carmine Starnino in the Globe and Mail. I think Carmine's points were valid, but I still found this to be one of the most exciting debuts of the year. Reviewed in Quill & Quire.

David Manicom, Desert Rose, Butterfly Storm. It took me a while to warm up to this book. I love Manicom's older work, and this is a radical departure from it: overtly political and unabashedly angry. It's a very personal book too, in the form of a letter to a son who's shipped off to Afghanistan. The book's not flawless by any stretch and the rhetoric does at times overwhelm the poetry, but on the whole a powerful work.

Les Murray, The Biplane Houses. I find Murray uneven, but terrific at his best. This book is no exception. But if you're looking for something beyond short lyrics, I can't recommend highly enough his verse novel Fredy Neptune.

Lisa Robertson, Lisa Robertson's Magenta Soul Whip. I'd say this book was a pleasant surprise, but I quite liked its predecessor, The Men, as well. Another poet who renders all the silly talk about traditional/experimental, formal/innovative, etc. irrelevant. There is poetry and there is non-poetry. And Robertson writes the former, however dense and elliptical it might sometimes be. Reviewed in Quill & Quire.

Damian Rogers, Paper Radio. I read this for review and will be re-reading closely soon before I start writing. I love the variety of voices, the mix of play and serious, the range of technique. Everything a first book of poems should be.

Robyn Sarah, Pause for Breath. I'm a long-time admirer of Robyn Sarah's poetry. It is often tempting to slam "domestic verse" as a genre for being boring and narcissistically inward, but poetry like Robyn's is a reminder that in poetry it's not so much the subject matter as the approach a poet takes that matters. And Robyn's verse is always, first and foremost, musical. One poem of hers especially, "Echoes in November," caught my eye and ear when it appeared in Arc. I was prompted by it to write a lengthy essay, which you can read in Arc 63, which is on newsstands now.

Frederick Seidel, Ooga-Booga. I'm still not sure what to make of this book. I posted a link a while ago to a sceptical review of Seidel's oeuvre by Ange Mlinko and she made very convincing arguments. But a lot of lines and images from Ooga-Booga have stuck with me months after first reading them. Anyone with the audacity to write a line like "I bought the racer to erase her" has my attention.

Karen Solie, Pigeon. Solie has been going from strength to strength, it seems to me. There are a few soft spots in this book, but overall it might be her best yet. There's an excellent review of her oeuvre-to-date by James Pollock in Arc 63, which I highly recommend you check out. Reviewed in Quill & Quire.

Carmine Starnino, This Way Out. Carmine's been getting better and better from book to book, I think, and it gladdened me much to see it widely acknowledged this year, as This Way Out was shortlisted for a GG and has been named a favourite by many poets and bloggers, many of whom you wouldn't expect to cotton to a book by him. Maybe a sign that our poetry culture is growing up a bit and getting tired of its old binary oppositions.

Souvankham Thammavongsa, Small Arguments and Found. I was surprised I liked these books as much as I did. I'm normally not at all into minimalist poetry and ST is as minimalist as they come. But the work earns its place on the page brilliantly. For an extended treatment of her work, see my review essay in Arc 62. Also, see my earlier post on her here.

George Whipple: Tom Thomson and Other Poems and Origins. Whipple's a sorely underrated senior poet. He started publishing late and what he published--baroque, playful, exuberant--so little resembled the work of his contemporaries that he has been widely ignored. That should stop. Seek out these books and you'll be pleasantly surprised, I think.

David Zieroth, The Fly in Autumn. While I was rooting for Carmine Starnino to win the GG this year, I'm glad to see at least that it was won by a credible book. This is another one I'll be re-reading before reviewing, but the first impression was great. I especially like the eighteen-line rhyming poems scattered throughout the book, something of a surprise from Zieroth, known more for his work in the free-verse lyrical/anecdotal mode. There are some fine poems of that sort in TFiA, as well, but it's refreshing to see a senior poet still experimenting and trying out new things.