Book picks similar to
The Sylvia Hotel Poems by George Fetherling


poetry
canadian-books-read
canadian-poets
vancouver

Liar


Lynn Crosbie - 2006
    From illusions of permanence and ownership to the pain of estrangement, Liar masterfully explores feelings familiar to anyone who has ever loved — and lost. Crosbie also goes beyond this territory, examining the lover’s own complicity in her joy and suffering. Liar is a grotesque, beautiful meditation on the nature of love.

For Your Safety Please Hold On


Kayla Czaga - 2014
    Her poems are already making waves--several from this collection have received award attention, including: "The Fiddlehead"'s 23rd annual Ralph Gustafson Poetry Prize, "The Malahat Review"'s 2012 Far Horizon's Award for Poetry and an Editor's Choice Award in "ARC Poetry Magazine'"s 2012 Poem of the Year Contest. They have also been shortlisted for "The New Quarterly"'s 2013 Occasional Verse Contest, longlisted for CBC's 2013 Canada Writes Poetry Contest and have appeared in literary publications across North America.The poems in "For Your Safety Please Hold On" move in thematic focus from family, to girlhood, to adulthood, each permeated by Czaga's lively voice and quick-witted, playful language. They test the line between honest humour and bitter reality in a sophisticated, incisive manner that tugs at the gut and feels true.The linguistic hopscotch of Czaga's poems about girlhood is often beautifully juxtaposed with feelings of menace or a first taste of smothering expectations--"She sits. She sips her bright pink fingers. / She slips into smart short haircuts, yes, / she does so, and does herself up just so." While her pin prick meditations on contemporary adulthood suggest a yearning for personal meaning and purpose on a larger scale--"I still wander, sometimes, / my coat closing the world out of my body, with pockets / full of garbage, with my slender steady want. I still / make the bed and at bedtime unmake it."The irrepressible energy of the poems in "For Your Safety Please Hold On," paired with their complex balancing act between light and dark, humour and melancholy, innocence and danger, make this collection an extraordinary first offering.

What the Soul Doesn't Want


Lorna Crozier - 2017
    Her arresting, edgy poems about aging and grief are surprising and invigorating: a defiant balm. At the same time, she revels in the quirkiness and whimsy of the natural world: the vision of a fly, the naming of an eggplant, and a woman who — not unhappily — finds that cockroaches are drawn to her.“God draws a life. And then begins to rub it out / with the eraser on his pencil.” Lorna Crozier draws a world in What the Soul Doesn’t Want, and then beckons us in. Crozier’s signature wit and striking imagery are on display as she stretches her wings and reminds us that we haven’t yet seen all that she can do.

Short Haul Engine


Karen Solie - 2001
    Short Haul Engine is one great twist of fate and fury after another. The writing is clear, striking and open to all sorts of possibilities. Even at their most playful, these poems dive much deeper than initially expected. There's a remarkably dark sense of humour at work here, but tempered with a haunting vulnerability that makes even the sharpest lines tremble.from "Signs Taken for Wonders" ... Too delicate for these dog-days, small, clover-blonde, my sister sews indoors. I ask her to fashion me into something nice, ivory silk. I am a big girl, sunburnt skin like raw meat, sweating two pews in front of the Blessed Virgin....

I have to live


Aisha Sasha John - 2017
     Juiced on the ecstasy of self-belief: I have to live. A burgeoning erotics of psychic boldness: I have to live. In which sensitivity is recognized as wealth: I have to live. Trumpeting the forensic authority of the heart: I have to live. This is original ancient poetry. It fashions a universe from its mouth.

The Shooting of Dan McGrew and Other Poems


Robert W. Service - 1980
    Includes "The Spell of the Yukon," "The Heart of the Sourdough," "While the Bannock Bakes," and "The Squaw Man."

Elimination Dance/La Danse Eliminatoire


Michael Ondaatje - 1978
    Instructions: An elimination dance begins with a crowded dance floor. At a signal, the band stops playing and the announcer reads an elimination, say, "Any lover who has gone into a flower shop on Valentine's Day and asked for clitoris when he meant clematis." Any dancer answering this description must sit down, and his partner is also disqualified. The process continues (e.g. "Any person who has burst into tears at the Liquor Control Board") until a single couple remains. And now, the post-Meech Lake edition.

Lyrics and Poems 1997-2012


John K. Samson - 2012
    Samson captures the essential images of contemporary life. Whether on the streets of his beloved and bewildering hometown of Winnipeg, an outpost in Antarctica, or a room in an Edward Hopper painting, he finds whimsy and elegance in the everyday, beauty and sorrow in the overlooked.This collection gathers together Samson's writing, starting with his band The Weakerthans' 1997 debut album Fallow, through Left and Leaving, Reconstruction Site, and the award-winning Reunion Tour. It also features lyrics from Samson's newly released solo album, Provincial, and selected poems.

Catch 22: My Battles, in Hockey and Life


Rick Vaive - 2020
    He did it three years in a row (only two others have scored 50 since) before being unceremoniously stripped of his captaincy and traded out of town, and he did it for a promising team that was nonetheless largely stuck at the bottom of the standings. So why isn't his number 22 hanging from the rafters of the Leafs' rink and his name as revered in Leafs lore as Gilmour, Sundin and Clark?You could blame it on a team that lost far more than it won. You could blame Harold Ballard and his erratic ownership. You could blame the fans, the media...Rick Vaive doesn't blame anybody. Sometimes, life just doesn't go your way. He'd know. Growing up in a household plagued by alcoholism, the gifted young hockey player took shelter in the company of his grandmother and a blind and severely disabled uncle. Rick learned quickly that there are more valuable things in life than hockey. Even after his promising coaching career stopped dead when it ran into Don Cherry in Mississauga--one of the worst seasons in Ontario junior hockey history--he still doesn't point fingers. Life is too sweet for regrets, but learning that lesson can be one hell of a ride.

The Place of Scraps


Jordan Abel - 2013
    Barbeau, in keeping with the popular thinking of the time, believed First Nations cultures were about to disappear completely, and that it was up to him to preserve what was left of these dying cultures while he could. Unfortunately, his methods of preserving First Nations cultures included purchasing totem poles and potlatch items from struggling communities in order to sell them to museums. While Barbeau strove to protect First Nations cultures from vanishing, he ended up playing an active role in dismantling the very same cultures he tried to save.Drawing inspiration from Barbeau’s canonical book Totem Poles, Jordan Abel explores the complicated relationship between First Nations cultures and ethnography. His poems simultaneously illuminate Barbeau’s intentions and navigate the repercussions of the anthropologist’s actions.Through the use of erasure techniques, Abel carves out new understandings of Barbeau’s writing – each layer reveals a fresh perspective, each word takes on a different connotation, each letter plays a different role, and each punctuation mark rises to the surface in an unexpected way. As Abel writes his way ever deeper into Barbeau’s words, he begins to understand that he is much more connected to Barbeau than he originally suspected.

Cinema of the Present


Lisa Robertson - 2014
    . . . Dauntlessly and resourcefully intellectual, Robertson can also be playful or blunt. . . . She wields language expertly, even beautifully."—The New York TimesWhat if the cinema of the present were a Möbius strip of language, a montage of statements and questions sutured together and gradually accumulating color? Would the seams afford a new sensibility around the pronoun "you"? Would the precise words of philosophy, fashion, books, architecture, and history animate a new vision, gestural and oblique? Is the kinetic pronoun cinema?These and other questions are answered in the new collection from acclaimed poet and essayist Lisa Robertson. The book is available with four different back covers, designed by artists Hadley+Maxwell.A quorum of crows will be your witness.And if you discover you were bought?You note the smell of rain, bread, and exhaust mixed with tiredness.And if you yourself are incompatible with your view of the world?And what is the subject but a stitching?Once again you are the one who promotes artifice.At 2 am on Friday, you burn with a maudlin premonition.And rankings and rankings and badges and repetitions.Lisa Robertson's book Lisa Robertson's Magenta Soul Whip was named one of the New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2010 and was longlisted for the 2011 Warwick Prize. Her other books include Debbie: An Epic, The Men, The Weather, and Occasional Work and Seven Walks from the Office for Soft Architecture. She is the 2014 Bain Swiggett Professor at Princeton University.

Ocean


Sue Goyette - 2013
    Living in the port city of Halifax, Goyette’s days are bounded by the substantial fact of the North Atlantic, both by its physical presence and by its metaphoric connotations. And like many of life’s overwhelming facts, our awareness of the ocean’s importance and impact waxes and wanes as the ocean sometimes lurks in the background, sometimes imposes itself upon us, yet always, steadily, is. This collection is not your standard “Oh, Ocean!” versifying. Goyette plunges in and swims well outside the buoys to craft a sort of alternate, apocryphal account of our relationship with the ocean. In these linked poems, Goyette’s offbeat cast of archetypes (fog merchants, lifeguards, poets, carpenters, mothers, daughters) pronounce absurd explanations to both common and uncommon occurrences in a tone that is part cautionary tale, part creation myth and part urban legend: how fog was responsible for marriages, and for in-laws; why running, suburbs and chairs were invented; what happens when you smoke the exhaust from a pride of children pretending to be lions. All the while, the anthropomorphized ocean nibbles hungrily at the shoreline of our understanding,refusing to explain its moods and winning every staring contest. “I wrote these poems,” comments Goyette, “because I know very little about the ocean and yet rely on it like a mirror, a compass.” In Ocean, Goyette demonstrates how a spirited, playful and richly mythopoetic engagement with the world can actually strengthen our grasp on its bigger truths.

Property Values


Charles Demers - 2018
    In Vancouver's red-hot real estate market, he doesn't have a chance--until he and his best friends take the last-ditch measure of staging a drive-by shooting on the property to push down the asking price. But when Scott's pretend gangland stunt attracts the attention of real criminals, his make-believe crew soon finds itself in the middle of a deadly rivalry.With wicked humour and a brilliant cast of desperate characters, Property Values explodes the crime novel genre while exploring the absurd lengths to which a man will go to in order to hold onto his home in today's market.

Home of Sudden Service


Elizabeth Bachinsky - 2006
    We should expect great things from her." --The Globe and MailHome of Sudden Service is a sad and scary book of punk rock villanelles and sonnets about delinquency.Set in Anyvalley, North America, Home of Sudden Service centres around the experiences of young people growing up in the suburbs. The contrast of elegant poetic forms with the colloquial, often harsh language of suburban teens makes for a compelling and engaging achievement.Bachinsky creates a gothic landscape that will be familiar to anyone who's visited the suburbs. Here, young Brownies dance, learn to sew and get badges in a series of eerie rituals, and smalltown girls settle down early. Murder, lust, teen pregnancy and a young man's disappearance are all discussed with a matter-of-fact, dispassionate voice.But this world is not without humour and hope. Home of Sudden Service concludes with "Drive," a series of fifteen sonnets about the poet's trip across Canada with her sister -- and out of the setting of their youth.

Don't Tell Me What to Do


Dina Del Bucchia - 2017
    Sometimes they succeed and sometimes they fail, and sometimes they end up in a slapstick sex scene that climaxes with a broken table. The book embraces characters who are flawed, emotional, and who care too much about things that are ridiculous.