Like rock and roll, there are many different kinds of poetry in the world, and Allemang is whip smart, with allusions and interests sufficiently wide-ranging to keep his work sharp, incisive and sometimes very funny. (Chris Chambers This Magazine
These poems are a treasure trove / Of all our culture's worshipped shams / In tetrametrical iambs.... And criticism sounds much worse / when dished out in exquisite verse; / Though poetry may seem archaic, / Prose is sometimes too prosaic. (Nicholas Pashley Univ of Toronto Bookstore Review
Witty, satirical missives written in rhyme... clever, made-to-order poems. (Kathy English Globe and Mail
The targets of Allemang's breezy verse include everyone from Stephen Harper to Don Cherry to Martha Stewart to Osama bin Laden.
Poetic Justice is good news for [Allemang's] fans. ... Amusing, witty and sometimes very hard-hitting ... Whether pop icon, political figure, or fleetingly famous, no one is spared. This is definitely one of those books that those who like satire should add to their collection. (Alide Kohlhaas Lancette Journal of the Arts (lancetter.ca)
(starred review) Although Allemang's poetry is connected to the oft-transient headlines of the week, some of his poems, such as "Same-Sex: God Weighs In," "Here's Osama!,"..."Osama's Christmas Letters" and "Chewing the Fat," have legs as they deal with recurring issues in our world. The book's visual appearance is enhanced by a dozen drawings by Brian Gable, the editorial cartoonist for The Globe and Mail... Poetic Justice: Satirical Verse from The Globe and Mail would likely be housed in the adult section of a public library, but the book definitely would not be out of place in a high school library or classroom. English teachers could use it to show the relevance of the poetic form in today's world while the book's contents have numerous obvious tie-ins with contemporary history or world issues classes...[or] a physical education class. As well, satire is also a sophisticated form of humour that appeals to the critical, sometimes cynical, minds of many older adolescents. Highly Recommended. (Dave Jenkinson Canadian Materials
About the Author
John Allemang is The Globe and Mail's "deadline poet" as well as the paper's tireless "Book a Day" reviewer. Allemang has enjoyed a wide-ranging newspaper career and is an award-winning travel writer. He studied at the University of Toronto and Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and is the author of The Importance of Lunch, an opinionated book about food and its pleasures. He lives in Toronto.