news | Tuesday January 9, 2024

Dusie's 'Best of' Canadian Poetry 2023

Acknowledging the subjectivity and imprecision of “best of” lists, rob mclennan puts out an annual list of the Canadian poetry collections he most enjoyed and intends to read again on the site Dusie. This list offers several wonderful collections some much-deserved admiration. We’re so pleased to see several Talonbooks titles on this year’s list and in such excellent company.

Song & Dread by Otoniya J. Okot Bitek appears on the list. Of this collection, mclennan says “I’m fascinated in how Okot Bitek’s book-length structures favour the extended sequence, and the cycle; composing individual poems that come together to form something far larger than the sum of their parts.”

the berry takes the shape of the bloom by andrea bennett is also among mclennan’s titles of the year. Of bennett’s prose, mclennan notes “there is something about bennett’s lyric, bennett’s line, that refuses to remain static.”

No Town Called We by Nikki Reimer is the third 2023 Talonbooks poetry collection on the Dusie list. Here, mclennan describes the collection as “a suite of lyric experimentation and cultural discourse, working to orient and even articulate oneself amid a field that pushes an insistence to keep moving, move forward and do not question.”

The 2022 collection Witness Back at Me by Weyman Chan is the final Talonbooks collection on this year’s list. Mclennan says “Witness Back at Me is a book-length elegy of witness composed through a lyric of stunning complexity around language, loss, grief and connection.”

There are nearly forty fantastic books of poetry discussed here, so if you’re in the market for leads on your next foray into the poetic, check it out.