Reviews

Newfoundland Poetry Series

Stephen Osborne

Newfoundland will be five hundred years old in 1997 (a hell of an age for any part of North America), and Breakwater Books of St. John's is marking the event with the Newfoundland Poetry Series, a collection of handsome slim volumes, of which they plan to have twenty-five in print by the end of the cinquecentennial. Are there that many good poets in Newfoundland? Time will tell. The first four volumes are: bending with the wind by nick avis; Talking to Ghosts by Philip Gardner; Allowing the Light by Mary Dalton; and Dancing in Limbo by Al Pittman. Besides the participial titles, they also bear colourful paintings on their covers, and rather startling author portraits on the back flaps. Something about a collection this carefully made recommends its separate parts wonderfully, and makes it easy to learn who these authors are by browsing back and forth, comparing and looking at their portraits and reading more. In fact I haven't read so much poetry with so much pleasure at one time in years. So buy more than one of these books. Great stuff.

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Stephen Osborne

Stephen Osborne is a co-founder and contributing publisher of Geist. He is the award-winning writer of Ice & Fire: Dispatches from the New World and dozens of shorter works, many of which can be read at geist.com.


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