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 either new (published within the last 18 months) books of poetry or books of poetry written by League members (no publication date restrictions) – see below for a list of suggested reviewable titles from the current publication period or 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)

Fall 2018 reviewable titles:

Anvil Press:
On the Count of None by Allison Chisholm

ARP Books:
Fate & Knives by Maureen Evans

Arsenal Pulp Press:
Chinatown Ghosts by Jim Wong-Chu

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

Holy Wild by Gwen Benaway
It Begins with the Body by Hana Shafi
Ledi by Kim Trainor
Branches by Mark Truscott
The Ritualites by Michael Nardone
The Lost Cosmonauts by Ken Hunt

Breakwater Books:
Full Circle by Helen Fogwill Porter

Brick Books:
How to Avoid Huge Ships by Julie Bruck
Reunion by Deanna Young
Yellow Crane by Susan Gillis

Coach House Books:
Obits. by Tess Liem
Midday at the Super-Kamiokande by Matthew Tierney
SKY WRI TEI NGS by Nasser Hussain

Frontenac House:
Night Flying by Laurie Fuhr
– Ruba’iyat for the Time of Apricots by Basma Kavanagh
– Nouveau Griot
by Tanya Evanson
– Rooster, Dog, Crow
by Jim Nason

Gaspereau Press:
Ghost Estates by Sean Howard

Goose Lane Editions:
Amateurs at Love by Patricia Young
Correspondent by Dominique Bernier-Cormier

Guernica Editions:
The Missing Field by Jennifer Zilm
Infrangible by Carol Barbour
Flesh by Sonia Di Placido
I Sleep in the Arms of Your Eyes by Beverly Ellenbogen
Learning to Miss by Paul Nelson
Vigil Poems by Jean Royer

Inanna Publications:
Practical Anxiety by Heidi Greco
Every Shameless Ray by Leslie Timmins

Invisible Publishing:
Port of Being by Shazia Hafix Ramji

Mansfield Press:
On Second Thought by Priscila Uppal
Another Dysfunctional Cancer Poem Anthology Ed. Priscila Uppal and Meaghan Strimas
The Gravel Lot That Was Montana by D.A. Lockhart
Goodbye Horses by Nathaniel G. Moore

McClelland & Stewart:
God of Shadows by Lorna Crozier
The Blue Clerk by Dionne Brand

McGill-Queen’s University Press:
Translating Air by Kath MacLean *
The Night Chorus by Harold Hoefle *
On High by Neil Surkan *

Mother Tongue:
Undiscovered Country by Al Rempel

Nightwood Editions:
Bec and Call by Jenna Lyn Albert
What Your Hands Have Done by Chris Bailey

Palimpsest Press:
A Skeletal Wand by Ruth Roach Pierson
Dividing the Wayside by Jenny Haysom

Ronsdale Press:
Skylight by Anthony Di Nardo
Out All Day by John Donlan

Checking In by Adeena Karasick
Duets by Ted Byrne
Treaty 6 Deixis by Christine Stewart

Thistledown Press:
Insomnia Bird by Kelly Shepherd
For the Changing Moon by Anna Marie Sewell

University of Calgary Press:
High Line Scavenger Hunt by Lucas Crawford
Exhibit by Paul Zits

Véhicule Press:
Afterwords by Geoffery Cook
The Hardness of Matter and Water by Pierre Nepveu trans. Donald Winkler

Wolsak & Wynn:
We Like Feelings. We Are Serious. by Julie McIsaac
Some of Us and Most of You Are Dead by Peter Norman


* 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.