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Review of Reviews :: The Wig-Maker by Janet Gallant and Sharon Thesen


While I was working on her

I ripped a hole in the foundation

Two holes in her


I couldn’t find her this time

It took me twice as long, my confidence wasn’t there

Something in my universe wasn’t right


It took all the pins, it didn’t fit

I had to put it all back on and do it right

This time I wasn’t going to get that fresh new piece


We are continuing our periodic reviewing of reivews with another roundup, this time shining the spotlight on The Wig Maker.

“Janet Gallant and Sharon Thesen create a disturbing yet ultimately inspiring collaboration which is part biography, part memoir, part poetry, and part lament.” Says Carol Matthews in the latest issue of the Malahat Review going on to call the poetic collaboration of Gallat and Thesen an “unforgettable duet.”

In her omnibus review of poetry across the pandemic over on the Ormsby Review, Linda Rogers says Thesen “does not embellish the flat narrative with coloratura ornaments, the gifts of a lyric poet. Both the telling and listening require absolute integrity.” And in BCBookworld, Caroline Woodward similarly described Thesen’s poetic listening/retelling as that of a “master poet with an acutely sensitive ear for language”.

The Wig-Maker, for Richard Osler, is “so much more than a collection of poems”, his review teasing out the ways in which Gallant and Thesen’s truth-telling becomes an important act of healing in itself. And for rob mclennan these poems “offer a memoir propelled by Thesen’s lyric clarity.”

You can also catch two great interviews by Paul Nelson with both Janet and Sharon.

Sharon and Janet will be virtually participating in the Winnipeg THIN AIR Festival launching later this month. Running from September 30 through to October 18th, THIN AIR will be hosted on a brand new festival website, registration is now open so click here to find out the details and sign up for your free reader profile – and if you happen to be a Winnipeg local, you can catch a handful of in-person events hosted at McNally Robinson. Keep an eye on the festival website for updates!

ICYMI – you can check out a recording of the launch event for The Wig-Maker right here on YouTube.