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Review: Canadian Literature

February 10, 2010

Almost three years later and The Rush to Here is still getting the scattered review. This time in Canadian Literature, which posts its reviews online before they come out in the print journal. Innovative and refreshing, that. Thankfully, it’s glowingly positive. There’s more at the Canadian Literature site here, and I’m lucky enough to be reviewed with some poets I greatly respect and admire, including Alice Burdick and Rachel Zolf. I don’t know the fourth poet, Neil Aitken, but I will check out his book soon enough.

George Murray’s the rush to here features a photo on a helicopter pad (X marks the spot) done as a sequence of six (a sextych?)—the gaps reflected in the design of the section breaks, each marked by the same set of six small rectangles, in the shape of the images, but now rendered blank.  It is as if the picture puzzle pieces have become interstices.  The design is excellent.  A very pleasant book to have and to hold.  The poems have such a maturity of vision, many on the passing of time, that it’s startling to note the author is still in his thirties.  Some of the poems are allusive, with mention of astronomers, philosophers, literary theorists, muses, but well contextualized and engaging.  “A Moment’s Autograph” won the Gertrude Stein Award for Innovation in Poetry.  The loose sonnet form allows much.  Children, God, Loss, Memories are evoked through sneakily thought provoking questions and insights, as well as arresting final couplets.

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