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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. Jailbreaks just might change the way we think about Canadian poetry.

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Review

"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 (www.zachariahwells.com) is the author of one trade collection of poetry Unsettled, as well as several chapbooks, broadsides and multimedia publications. A prolific and sometimes controversial critic, he is the reviews editor for Canadian Notes and Queries magazine and has twice won the Arc magazine Critic's Desk Award. Forthcoming works include a children's picture book, Anything But Hank (co-written with Rachel Lebowitz, illustrated by Eric Orchard); a poetry collection, Track & Trace; a collection of reviews and critical essays, Career Limiting Moves. (All of which are forthcoming with Biblioasis.) Originally from Price Edward Island, he now lives in New Westminster, BC, where he works seasonally as a passenger train attendant.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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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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