Review: In/Words Anonymous

Poetry is always a complex thing to review, often being harder to judge than other forms of writing. With novels and short stories, the reader can judge them based on how well they fit genre conventions, or whether they brilliantly subverted tropes. But what makes a good poem is far more personal than that, especially due to the rapid growth in the genre over the last century. The fact that poetry is so personal is something that’s always appealed to me, but does make it rather hard to review sometimes. In/Words latest issue is completely anonymous, adding another layer of poetic complexity to the writing and reader’s experience. Normally when I sit down with a collection of poetry, it’s either […]

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Review: In/Words Anonymous

Poetry is always a complex thing to review, often being harder to judge than other forms of writing. With novels and short stories, the reader can judge them based on how well they fit genre conventions, or whether they brilliantly subverted tropes. But what makes a good poem is far more personal than that, especially due to the rapid growth in the genre over the last century. The fact that poetry is so personal is something that’s always appealed to me, but it does make it rather hard to review sometimes. In/Words latest issue is completely anonymous, adding another layer of poetic complexity to the writing and reader’s experience. Normally when I sit down with a collection of poetry, it’s either a recent publication or a […]

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Book Blog: Webcomics—all the creativity, none of the expenses

Comics are a fantastic type of media, melding beautiful art, compelling stories and characters together. However, if you’re not that familiar with the genre, it can be intimidating to shell out a lot of money for multiple volumes or issues. That’s where webcomics come in. Over the past two decades, the internet has allowed cartoonists, artists, and writers to experiment and create their own stories rather than waiting to be discovered by a big publisher. There’s amazing stories being told in webcomics, both new and longstanding. Here’s some of my favourite webcomic reads that explore speculative fiction, from steampunk to superheroes, from robots to fairytale retellings. Girl Genius by Phil and Kaja Foglio Europa was in chaos after “sparks”, mad […]

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Review: Madeleine Thien’s Do Not Say We Have Nothing

At the start of the first page it was easy to see why Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien has garnered so much critical acclaim this year. Nominated for the 2016 Man Booker Prize, winner of the 2016 Governor General’s Literary Award for English fiction, and winner of the 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize, Do Not Say We Have Nothing is a compelling and beautiful piece of historical fiction. Marie is 10 years old in 1989 when her father leaves her family twice, once as he moves to Hong Kong, and the second time when they receive news of his suicide. As time moves on and Marie and her mother struggle to adapt, their lives are overturned once […]

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OIWF aims to spread literacy

Readers, writers, and authors all came together as a community for the Ottawa International Writers Festival (OIWF) from Oct. 19-26, to celebrate literature and literacy. The festival hosted a wide array of authors from multiple genres, from acclaimed authors to new voices in Canadian literature and around the world. The festival featured Canadian historical and fantasy writer Guy Gavriel Kay talking about his latest novel Children of Earth and Sky, and Margaret Atwood rapping from her latest novel Hag-Seed, a retelling of The Tempest, among other events.  Before Margaret Atwood read from Hag-Seed, acclaimed actors Walter Borden and Keith Barker took to the stage to preform a scene from The Tempest, as Prospero and Caliban respectively, that had the audience laughing wildly.  […]

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