Phoebe Wang


Violence in our bedrooms and kitchens: A review of Julie Bruck’s Monkey Ranch


Reviewed in this essay: Monkey Ranch  by Julie Bruck, Brick Books, 2012 Julie Bruck’s poems have the transparency of fingerprints on glass. The achievement of Monkey Ranch, her Governor General Award-winning collection, is not obvious. Her third book, it contains poems about rituals and family life–a son at a window, a lover sleeping through the noise of a vacuum–and the simple language that...

Staging history: A review of Susan Steudel’s poetry collection, New Theatre


Reviewed in this essay: New Theatre by Susan Steudel, Coach House Press, 2012. A high school teacher once passed an antique book of fairy tales around our creative writing class, asking us to make new poems by blacking out and decorating the printed words. Susan Steudel’s debut book of poetry, New Theatre, reminds me of turning the pages of that illuminated book, from which new voices arose out...

Chasing Cures: A Review of Erin Knight’s Chaser


Reviewed in this essay: Chaser by Erin Knight, House of Anansi Press, 2012. Without experiencing the discomfits of illness, we cannot benefit from the advancement of knowledge and understanding that accompanies diagnosis and healing. Erin Knight’s second book of poems, Chaser, released last spring, explores this fascinating contradiction, as well as the pathologies that affect society, the body...