U of A Press - September 20, 2008 - 5 Comments

The Occupied World

The Occupied World by Alice Major

Reviewed by Jenna Butler

Alice Major’s newest collection, The Occupied World, is a vibrant exploration of what is at the heart of a city. Based in Edmonton, where Major lives, The Occupied World moves fluidly between the traditional and the modern. It effortlessly sweeps from Roman rituals for the selecting and naming of a city’s birthplace, to downtown encounters with local youths and those living on the street. Major even makes the leap beyond Earth itself, taking a hard look at why we insist on casting our small lives out into space, hoping and dreading the resulting possibility of contact. This is no light read; it’s a collection that requires the innate trust of its audience, as it speeds from global view to city-specific in a short few pages. Once immersed in this book, there are no easy answers when Major questions what home really is.


U of A Press - November 07, 2006 - 1 Comment


Continuations by Douglas Barbour and Sheila E. Murphy

Reviewed by Jenna Butler

Continuations, by poets Douglas Barbour and Sheila E. Murphy, is a collection that defies easy description. Begun six years ago in 2000, what is now Continuations had its start as a collaborative process that became, over time, an integral part of both writers’ daily lives. It is the visible process, in addition to the stunning and remarkably cohesive finished product, that makes this collection one to savour.


U of A Press - February 16, 2006 - 3 Comments


Elegy by E. D. Blodgett

Reviewed by Eric Barstad

In the winter of 2004, E.D. Blodgett was approached by Yukiko Onley to write a poem for her late husband, landscape watercolourist Toni Onley. Unsure of whether he was up to the task, Blodgett agreed to write a small series. Soon, however, one poem led to another and another, and Blodgett knew “that after the first few poems this was not going to be a little series” (82). Instead, the sequence became Elegy (U of A Press, 2005), a collection exploring grief and loss.