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Thirty-fourth Issue
Volume 14, No. 2

..where to find the mrb

The Mrb Is Available At The Following Locations:


By Eric Boodman

The Anatomy Of Clay
By Abby Paige

They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children / Mobilizing The Will To Intervene: Leadership To Prevent Mass Atrocities
By Aparna Sanyal


Bats Or Swallows
Reviewed by Taylor Tower

Lives: Whole And Otherwise
Reviewed by Rosel Kim

Reviewed by Kimberly Bourgeois

Spat The Dummy
Reviewed by Ian McGillis

The Obituary
Reviewed by Anna Leventhal

Three Deaths
Reviewed by Rob Sherren


Bad Animals: A Father’s Accidental Education In Autism
Reviewed by Leila Marshy

Making Waves: The Continuing Portuguese Adventure
Reviewed by Joni Dufour

The Republic Of Therapy
Reviewed by Sarah Fletcher

Writing In The Time Of Nationalism: From Two Solitudes To Blue Metropolis
Reviewed by Gregory J. Reid

You Could Lose An Eye: My First 80 Years In Montreal
Reviewed by Joel Yanofsky

non-fiction at a glance

Eeyou Istchee: Land Of The Cree/terre Des Cris
Reviewed by Carol Katz

The Origin Of A Person
Reviewed by Prosenjit Dey Chaudhury


Blood Is Blood
Reviewed by Bert Almon

Hard Feelings
Reviewed by Bert Almon

Poets And Killers
Reviewed by Bert Almon

Song Of The Taxidermist
Reviewed by Bert Almon

The Collected Books Of Artie Gold
Reviewed by Bert Almon

The Truth Of Houses
Reviewed by Bert Almon

Where We Might Have Been
Reviewed by Bert Almon

the mile end café

The October Crisis, 1970 An Insider’s View/trudeau's Darkest Hour, War Measures In Time Of Peace, October 1970
Reviewed by Mélanie Grondin

the mrb cartoon

Image By Jean-philippe Marcotte

young readers

Captured: The Divided Realms Series, Book 1
Reviewed by Andrea Belcham

Into The Mist: The Story Of The Empress Of Ireland
Reviewed by Andrea Belcham

Milo: Sticky Notes And Brain Freeze
Reviewed by Andrea Belcham

Noni Says No
Reviewed by Andrea Belcham

Raffi’s New Friend
Reviewed by Andrea Belcham

Scaredy Squirrel Has A Birthday Party
Reviewed by Andrea Belcham

Today, Maybe
Reviewed by Andrea Belcham

Without You
Reviewed by Andrea Belcham

Song Of The Taxidermist
Aurian Haller
paper 80 pp.
Goose Lane ISBN 9780864926494

Song of the Taxidermist

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New Document Taxidermy is the unlikely focus of Aurian Haller’s outstanding collection, Song of the Taxidermist. The eight-part title-poem, which opens the book (“Song of the Taxidermist II” closes it), sometimes looks at taxidermy, sometimes at things that are preserved, like Togo, a dog that took part in the famous mission to bring serum from Anchorage to Nome in 1925. Haller uses couplets that are as sharp as a scalpel to present his subjects, and his lyrical tact is superb. To choose one example, “Novecento, Maurizio Cattelan, 1997. Horse in taxidermy with sling” ends with a fine metaphor, “See, even the moon is / a hoofprint on the darkening shore.” Haller’s description of the creations of taxidermy is essentially a variant on that popular form of our time, the ekphrasis, a poem describing a work of art. The book has seven poems based on paintings of Betty Goodwin, and there are others that describe rocking horses, with pictures of the horses provided in the text. Haller’s intellectual brilliance is made clear by his poems about the nature of language, gathered wittily as “Speechless”: another set of poems in precise couplets. Cleverness does not trump feeling in the book: the reader never knows when a descriptive poem will open vistas of terror or create pathos (as in the poems gathered as “Five Drownings”). He may go too far with a poem in which a man kills kittens by dropping them in boiling water: “He spoons them one by one / like blind dumplings / into soup.”

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).