Could Be

“Still producing at the height of his powers” is a cliche that rarely applies as well as it does to George Bowering's recent output. In Could Be: New Poems, gathering work since his close call five years ago, Bowering shows off a wiser, though not necessarily mellower, aspect alongside the wit and unerring ear readers have come to expect from one of our greats.

Glad to be alive, these are poems that look out into the world with fresh eyes, curious as any young poet's. Only now the shadow of mortality finally takes its proper place alongside life's many other sources of magic and wonder. Sunlight and warmth suffuse these poems, formally spanning short lyric verse, “found” stuff, and a long poem (“Sitting in Jalisco”). Rewarding attention as always, with Could Be George Bowering adds to a substantial body of work.

Ghost Geographies

Tamas Dobozy's first book since his Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize-winning Siege 13, his follow up, Ghost Geographies includes “Krasnagorsk-2” (National Magazine Awards 2014 Gold Medal for Fiction), “The Tire-Swing of Death” (Named Distinguished Story in Best American Short Stories 2015) and “No. 10” (Best Canadian Short Stories 2017), and ten other short stories and novellas documenting the decrepit utopias inhabited by a gallery of immigrants and emigrants, musicians and artists, wrestlers and mill workers.

In settings ranging from post-war Communist Hungary to post-9/11 suburban southern Ontario, Dobozy's new collection is peopled by a disparate cast of vividly imagined characters. They include intellectuals leaving behind lives in Toronto and Brussels, lured to darkest Communist Hungary by love and ideals, like the protagonists of “The Rise and Rise and Rise of Thomas Sargis” or “The Hobo and the Archivist”. Others are victims — or perpetrators — of Communist or Nazi crimes, now putting new lives together in North America, as in “The Glory Days of Donkey Kong”, “Spires”, or “Ray Electric”.

Drawing on his Hungarian background and Hungary's history, as well as his experience growing up on Canada's West Coast and living in central Canada, Tamas Dobozy creates a magical and potent universe that invites comparison to the ambitious fictional worlds created by Bolaño and other contemporary masters.

Includes stories originally appearing in:
Able Muse
Big Muddy
Canadian Notes & Queries
Chattahoochee Review
The Literary Review
The New Quarterly
Southern Review

Screen Captures

Movies open a window into our collective soul. In Screen Captures, Stephen Lee Naish guides us through recent cinematic phenomena that reflect/refract our contemporary political existence. From Star Wars-scope blockbusters and Hollywood coming-of-age comedies to independent horror productions, Naish draws out the ways these movies shape, and are shaped by, their audience's own dissatisfactions.

In his discussion of the Star Wars franchise, Naish highlights a conflict between internet discussion-fueled fandom vs the Disney Empire that shares features with the ongoing rebellions depicted in the films themselves. A passionate fan base who can now voice their discontent via the internet is feeding back into the studio's agenda and criticizing the actions of characters within the film and the actors alike.

Chapters on the super-hero genre and disaster movies draw out the climate-based social tensions these reflect. Depictions of masculinity (“Men on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown”) on screens large and small bleed into discussions of the work and presence of Nicholas Cage, David Lynch, and Dennis Hopper — with a side-excursion into Valerie Solanas's strikingly prescient SCUM Manifesto.

Stephen Lee Naish's Screen Captures adds a sharpening filter to the film-goer's experience on the big and little screen.