Arsenal Pulp Press - November 19, 2007 - 57 Comments

Seminal: The Anthology of Canada's Gay Male Poets

Seminal: The Anthology of Canada’s Gay Male Poets Edited by John Barton and Billeh Nickerso

Reviewed by M. Maylor

As a heterosexual female and poetry fanatic, I love men and I love poetry as much as the next guy and was curious about this anthology.  Seminal: The Anthology of Canada’s Gay Male Poets is a terrific read.  It showcases a wide array of talented works and an illuminating introduction. John Barton’s preface is a mini-thesis of Canadian poetic history blended with enlightening facts about being gay in Canada.  It is comprehensive, educational and filled with interesting details. For example, it has been less than 40 years since homosexual acts were decriminalised by the Trudeau government.  That’s a long time after “The Ballad of Reading Gaol” and Oscar Wilde oakum picking his fingers to bloody pulp. And, there were only 17 years between the decriminalisation of homosexual acts and the start of the AIDS era.