Sheryda Warrener’s Hard Feelings, from the same small press, is a far better book. Warrener has written a formally varied collection – in this debut, she uses prose poems, a pantoum, a ghazal, and, most interestingly, a long poem in prose about Georgia O’Keeffe, with italicized quotations from the famous painter inserted in spaces at the right-hand side of the page. Her long sequence on a family breakup puts passages about later lives of the father and mother on facing pages – with some interpolated comments by their child: narrative and commentary work well together. The travel poems, which have a whole section, combine crisp description with a lyrical tone: she avoids guide- book reductionism. It’s amusing to find a poem about Grimsby, Ontario, sandwiched between works on Barcelona and Yamanaka-ko.
Bert Almon teaches a poetry masterclass with Derek Walcott at the University of Alberta. His most recent book is Waiting for the Gulf Stream (Hagios Press).