Book Reviews

“Poets are the hierophants of an unapprehended inspiration; the mirrors of the gigantic shadows which futurity casts upon the present; the words which express what they understand not; the trumpets which sing to battle, and feel not what they inspire; the influence which is moved not, but moves. Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.”

– Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “A Defence of Poetry”

Recent Reviews:


Interested in reviewing for the League? As it stands, we are currently looking for volunteer reviewers. It’s a small, small poetry world out there, and we know there’s a large chance reviewers have met the poet they’re reviewing at least once, so we want to embrace that: friends, review friends! Publishers, review your own books! Discuss, discuss, discuss–as long as you disclose your connections and keep your writing transparent. We’re looking for reviews that speak to the reviewer’s personal experience with the book, but we’re also looking for reviews that can connect a book with other legacies, initiatives, and creators in CanLit.

Submission guidelines:

  • we accept reviews of new (published within the last 18 months) books of poetry – see below for a list of suggested reviewable titles from the current publication period (consider reviewing a book by one of our new members)!
  • reviewers do not need to be members of the League
  • we accept previously published reviews with written permission from the original publisher
  • reviews for consideration should be in Word file format and between 500-2000 words in length

Please email with questions, queries, or submissions for consideration! We are also happy to facilitate review copy requests to publishers for interested reviewers.
Publishers: looking for professional poets to review your latest poetry releases? Send a copy to the League office and we’ll make it known to our membership that the book is available for review. 

Some new books by Leaguers include:

Quarry by Tanis Franco (University of Calgary Press)
The Way We Hold On by Abena Beloved Green (Pottersfield Press) *
– No Meeting Without Body by Annick MacAskill (Gaspereau Press)
The River Doesn’t Stop by Ariane Blackman (Aeolus House)
Mantis by David Dowker (Chax Press)
– Shards of Crystal by Fern G. Z. Carr (Silver Bow Publishing)
LOCAL HEROES by Penn Kemp (Insomniac Press)
Glitter & fall: Laozi’s Dao De Jin, Transinhalations by Di Brandt (Turnstone Press)
The Air is Elastic by Ella Zeltserman (Turnstone Press)
Starland by Brenda Sciberras (Turnstone Press)
Labryinth of Green, Poems & Photographs by Diana Hayes (Plumleaf Press)

Winter/Spring 2019 reviewable titles:

Anvil Press:
Bounce House by Jennica Harper
A Mysterious Humming Noise by Howard White
The Inflatable Life by Mark Laba

Arsenal Pulp Press:
Tonguebreaker by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
Disintegrate/Dissociate by Arielle Twist

Black Moss Press:
The First Taste: New and Selected Poems by Bruce Meyer*
Morning Song by Carlinda D’Alimonte*
Haunt by Susan McMaster*
Line by Robert Hilles*
Beautiful Stupid: Selected Poems 2001-2018 by John B. Lee

Hope Matters by Lee Maracle, Columpa Bobb, and Tania Carter
I Am a Body of Land by Shannon Webb-Campbell
Q & A by Adrienne Gruber
War / Torn by Hasan Namir
Where, the Mile End by Julie Morrissy

Breakwater Books:
An Unorthodox Guide to Wildlife by Katie Vautour
– Inquiries
by Michelle Porter

Brick Books:
By Hand by John Reibetanz
– Our Latest Folktales
by Matthew Gwathmey
– Unidentified Poetic Object
by Brian Henderson
– Wild Madder
by Brenda Leifso

Caitlin Press:
How She Read: Poems by Chantal Gibson
Chenille or Silk by Emma McKenna
The Brightest Thing by Ruth Daniel

Coach House Books:
Cursed Objects by Jason Christie
– Mad Long Emotion
by Ben Ladouceur
– All Day I Dream About Sirens
by Domenica Martinello
– Defense of the Idol
by Omar CAceres
– Gestures
by Artis Ostups
– Materia Prima
by Amanda Berenguer
– God was Right
by Diana Hamilton

Gaspereau Press:
Boom Time by Lindsay Bird
Under the Gamma Camera by Madeline Bassnett
Chance Encounters with Wild Animals by Monica Kidd
The Sad Mechanic Exercise by Bruce Whiteman

Goose Lane Editions:
These are not the potatoes of my youth by Matthew Walsh
Hymnswitch by Ali Blythe

Guernica Editions:
Rivers Applaud Forever by Raymond Filip
Swinging Between Water and Stone by Steven Mayoff
Plastic’s Republic by Giovanna Riccio
Downtown Flirt by Peter Jickling
Insult to the Brain by Nicola Vulpe

Inanna Publications:
Any Waking Morning by Mary Lou Soutar-Hynes
We Are Malala by Katerina Vaughan Fretwell
Radiant by Kate Marshall Flaherty

Invisible Publishing:
Gatecrasher by Susan Buis
– Maze
by Hugh Thomas

McClelland & Stewart:
Cluster by Souvankham Thammavongsa
Drolleries by Cassidy McFadzean
heft by Doyali Islam
Magnetic Equator by Kaie Kellough

McGill-Queen’s University Press:
Grotesque Tenderness by Daniel Cowper
Look Here Look Away Look Again by Edward Carson*
Delivering the News by Thomas O’Grady*

Mother Tongue Publishing:
Little Red: new poems by Kerry Gilbert
– What is Long Past Occurs in Full Light
by Marilyn Bowering

Ronsdale Press:
Clinging to Bone by Garry Gottfriedson

My Heart is a Rose Manhattan by Nikki Reimer
It’s a Big Deal! by Dina Del Bucchia
breth by bill bissett
PERFACT by Nicole Raziya Fong

Thistledown Press:
A Matins Flywheel by John Lent
Oona River Poems by Peter Christensen
Lift by Emily Davidson
Snow Melts First in the Middle of the Slough by Catherine J. Stewart
This Hole Called January by Paula Jane Remlinger
Five Red Sentries by Raye Hendrickson

Véhicule Press:
The Suicides’s Song by James Arthur
– What We Carry
by Susan Glickman
– Afterwards
by Geoffrey Cook

Wolsak & Wynn:
TREATY# by Armand Garnet Ruffo
– Dark Set, The by Tim Bowling
Love in the Chthulucene (Cthulhucene) by Natalee Caple


* Review copy on hand

League members with new books should e-mail to include the book in our list of reviewable titles.

View our reviews archive here.