This issue is full of both anticipation and recollection, as our reviewers write about works by new authors who are boldly representing the present, works by established authors now collecting their long careers, and critical works that call attention to the presence of the past in the contemporary moment. Brandi Estey-Burtt, for example, reviews Ali Blythe’s “intense debut” collection of poetry, Twoism; Bryan Sentes reviews “a lifetime of poetic production” in Don McKay’s Angular Unconformity: The Collected Poems 1970-2014; and Nick Milne meditates on the enduring power of John McCrae’s “In Flanders Fields” in his review of Amanda Betts’s edited collection, In Flanders Fields, 100 Years: Writing on War, Loss and Remembrance. Milne’s observation that the “war’s memory has become as much literary as historical” reveals a common interest across the diverse works reviewed in this issue: literature relates the past to the present.
In the diverse works of this issue, this relation is often one of self-conscious responsibility, as we see in Patrick Woodcock’s You can’t bury them all (reviewed by Kyle Flemmer) or in the “visceral humanism” in rob mclennan’s Selected Collage of Phil Hall’s poetry (which Luke Stark claims “seeks to turn […] pain against itself” and into poetry). In other works, such heavy ambitions take the form of “a dark, comedic view of life,” like the one Marc André Fortin observes in Katherine Fawcett’s The Little Washer of Sorrows. We hope that within this issue you’ll find books through which our present relation to the past speaks to you in new and thrilling ways.
Welcome to The Bull Calf 6.2!
Sheila Watson: Essays on her Works edited by Joseph Pivato; Counterblasting Canada: Marshall McLuhan, Wyndham Lewis, Wilfred Watson, and Sheila Watson edited by Gregory Betts, Paul Hjartarson, and Kristine Smitka - reviewed by Kait Pinder