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Jailbreaks: 99 Canadian Sonnets [Paperback]

Zachariah Wells
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

April 1 2008 189723144X 978-1897231449 1
In 1910 Lawrence J. Burpee published an anthology of 100 Canadian Sonnets. Poet and critic Zachariah Wells figured it was high time for an update on that dusty tome. In Jailbreaks, Wells has gathered 99 of his favourite sonnets written by Canadians, from the 19th century to the present day. Jailbreaks does much to question the standard assumption that the best Canadian poetry is written in free verse, while showcasing the enormous versatility of the sonnet and of the poets who use it as a vessel for their thoughts and feelings. It just might change the way we think about Canadian poetry.

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"It's refreshing to see an editor so engaged with his material...the result is a collection that successfully showcases remarkable variety within its narrow room."—Good Reports "Richly endowed with sonnets whose wordplay is more ornate, featuring work from such inventive phrasemakers as Margaret Avison, Don McKay and George Elliott Clarke. The list goes on."—Toronto Star "What Wells offers is a thematic survey on formalist grounds, a sort of sleight of hand that makes the collection immediately familiar and intelligible but also, as his insightful notes on each poem show, rigorous in its aesthetic evaluations and thoughtful in its attention to details of prosody. As an editor and commentator, Wells is incredibly perceptive and mercifully concise."—The Walrus

About the Author

Zachariah Wells is a contributing editor for Canadian Notes & Queries, the author of Unsettled, a collection of poetry about the Arctic, and the editor of The Essential Kenneth Leslie. His three Biblioasis titles are the anthology Jailbreaks: 99 Canadian Sonnets, the children's story Anything But Hank! (with Rachel Lebowitz and Eric Orchard), and the poetry collection Track & Trace. He lives in Halifax, where he works as a freelance writer and editor and as a passenger rail attendant.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Neo-formalism creeps across the border Jan. 13 2008
By D.W.
Format:Paperback
I'm looking forward to sonnets by Canadians. Wells has at times a peculiar take on what makes a form, so I expect variance on fourteen lines of abba abba cde cde. But the getting away from the cheap, stale, flatulent sentence-fragmented soap opera free verse of much Canadian poetry is a better thing he does than the Internationalist Conspiracy has so far done.
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