#804 Gibson’s poetic pyrotechnics

How She Read by Chantal Gibson Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2019 $20.00 / 9781987915969 Reviewed by Renée Sarojini Saklikar * On March 12, 2020, Chantal Gibson’s How She Read was shortlisted for both the 2020 Dorothy Livesay and Jim Deva prizes of the BC and Yukon Book Prizes. Winners will be announced on September 19th at a…
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#803 Species survival and adaptation

Re-Origin of Species by Alessandra Naccarato Toronto: Book*hug Press, 2019 $18.00 / 9781771665421 Reviewed by John Swanson * On April 6, 2020, Alessandra Naccarato’s Re-Origin of Species was longlisted for both the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award and the Pat Lowther Memorial Award of the League of Canadian Poets. On 20 April 2020, it was shortlisted…
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#802 Cutting Simon Fraser down to size

Lowering Simon Fraser by Maddie Leach (concept and editing) and Michael Kluckner (drawings and interpretation) Vancouver: Contemporary Art Gallery, 2019 [catalogue; no price]  / 9781989503027 Lowering Simon Fraser (the catalogue) is available from the shop at the Contemporary Art Gallery Reviewed by Forrest Pass * 1908 should have been a bumper year for commemorations in…
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#801 Welcome to Ormsby Street

Welcome to Ormsby Street by Richard Somerset Mackie * In September 2016, in his Welcome to the Ormsby Review, Richard Mackie provided his memories of Margaret Ormsby (1909-1996), the B.C. historian after whom The Ormsby Review is named. He referenced their conversations in two fine old living rooms in the Coldstream Valley, near Vernon, where…
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#800 Prisms of sisterhood

Dual Citizens by Alix Ohlin Toronto: House of Anansi Press, 2019 $22.95 / 9781487004866 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * Sororal bonds are complex: a pair of sisters may know each other better than anyone else does; they may see themselves reflected in the other to the extent that they expect the sister to think and…
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#799 Murder at the Sumas settlement

The Trials of Albert Stroebel: Love, Murder and Justice at the End of the Frontier by Chad Reimer Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2020 $24.95 / 9781773860206 Reviewed by Kathryn Neilson * The Trials of Albert Stroebel chronicles the 1893 murder of John Marshall, a farmer on the Sumas prairie, and its consequences for his one-time…
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#798 Shipwrecks, orphans, pianos

Epistle to the Pope: Memoir and Survivor-Impact Statement from a Shipwrecked Orphan by Dharel Verville Victoria: FriesenPress Publishing, 2020 [price to follow] / 9781525554292 Reviewed by Constance Brissenden * Epistle to the Pope is the memoir of a seeker, a classical pianist, and a sometimes drug dealer and addict. Author Daryl Verville, known by his…
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#797 Secwépemc land and language

Clinging to Bone by Garry Gottfriedson Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 2019 $17.95 / 9781553805625 Reviewed by Heather Simeney MacLeod * Garry Gottfriedson is from the Secwépemc (previously Shuswap) Nation. He was born, raised and continues to reside in Kamloops. He studied under Allen Ginsberg, Anne Waldman, and Marianne Faithful at the distinguished Naropa Institute in Boulder,…
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#796 John McLoughlin of Rainy Lake

Rainy Lake House: Twilight of Empire on the Northern Frontier by Theodore Catton Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017 $32.95 (U.S.) / 9781421422923 Reviewed by Sarah Carter * The pandemic crisis descends as I write this review and my first thought is that this book will be a welcome diversion from the anxieties and upheavals…
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#795 Choosing a seat on a plane

Outside, America by Sarah de Leeuw Gibsons: Nightwood Editions, 2019 $18.95 / 9780889713543 Reviewed by Christopher Levenson * Good poetry derives from the confluence of at least two abilities: a mastery of the full resources of the medium, language, and an unusual angle or perspective on the poem’s subject matter. All good poets achieve their…
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#794 Sternwheelers of the Yukon

The Klondike Gold Rush Steamers: A History of Yukon River Steam Navigation by Robert D. Turner Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2019 (first published by Sono Nis Press, 2015) Reviewed by Ken Coates $49.95 / 9781550178876 * The last 50 years have not been good for the preservation of the river boat heritage of the Upper…
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#793 Sons, fathers, and fatherhood

Forty Fathers: Men Talk About Parenting by Tessa Lloyd, with a foreword by Peter Mansbridge Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2019 $34.95 /  9781771622431 Reviewed by Trevor Marc Hughes * From Peter Mansbridge’s foreword to Tessa Lloyd’s Forty Fathers: Men Talk About Parenting, it’s clear that this iconic CBC figure regretted not having spent more…
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#792 Fine words butter no parsnips

Indigenous Relations: Insights, Tips & Suggestions to Make Reconciliation a Reality by Bob Joseph with Cynthia F. Joseph Vancouver: Raincoast Books / Page Two Strategies, 2019 $19.95 / 9781989025642 Reviewed by David Milward * On March 12, 2020, Indigenous Relations: Insights, Tips & Suggestions to Make Reconciliation a Reality, by Bob Joseph with Cynthia F….
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#791 The incomparable Al Howie

In Search of Al Howie by Jared Beasley Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2019 $25.00 / 9781771603386 Reviewed by Timothy Lewis * The old adage tells us not to judge a book by its cover, but in the case of Jared Beasley’s In Search of Al Howie, one learns much from that practice. The reader’s eye…
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#790 Enter Douglas, Garry & Menzies

In Nature’s Realm: Early Naturalists Explore Vancouver Island by Michael Layland Victoria: Touchwood Editions, 2019 $40.00 / 9781771513067 * On March 2, 2020, it was announced that Michael Layland’s book, In Nature’s Realm: Early Naturalists Explore Vancouver Island (Victoria: Touchwood Editions, 2019) had won the 2020 Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize for outstanding scholarly book on British…
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