Contemporary Verse 2: The Canadian Journal of Poetry and Critical Writing, 27.3 (Winter 2005) “The Poetics of Space: Where Poetry Lives”*
*I realize an issue of CV2 is not actually a book.
This is another thing I picked up at the VPL book sale last fall. CV2 is exclusively a poetry journal. The first part of the issue is interviews with several poets. Each interview is followed by poems by that author. The remainder of the issue is miscellaneous poems.
The interview format is interesting and I think gives the journal a more general appeal, i.e. anyone interested in the writing process might enjoy the interviews. It’s like a poetry lesson in a way since the interview is followed by a selection of the poems that have been discussed.
My favorite of the interviewees’ poems were Fiona Tinwei Lam’s. Her selections were from Intimate Distances. (Love that title.)
From “beach” (p. 59):
I try to tempt you there with castles carefully
tipped out of plastic buckets,
festoon the grainy cakes with twigs and pebbles—
but you topple them all
then trudge away.
I also liked Julia McCarthy’s prose poem, “Out of the Ordinary,” which starts:
Everyday I pray for boredom, for nothing to happen. I want a dull life as though underwater, but even there things are sharper and the greenery, sublime. (p. 70)
This was one of the journals that really impressed me back in the day. Reading this issue now, it made me happy to realize that the poetry we publish in TC is just as good as much of the work here.
Random fact: Dorothy Livesay, the founder of CV2, lived at the long-term care facility where I worked for a time. I was enough of a creative writing nerd to be thrilled by being in her presence. Every time I saw her I was like, “Squee! Dorothy Livesay!” I don’t know if anyone else knew who she was.