Po­etry jour­nal, Shan­non Maguire and Les­ley Bel­leau (edi­tors), 112 pgs, con­tem­po­rary­, $8

Broken Pencil - - Zine Reviews -

The fo­cus of the win­ter 2017 is­sue of CV2 is on North­ern On­tario In­dige­nous writ­ers and writ­ing, and the aim of the po­ems within it is to tell sto­ries.

Some of the sto­ries are tra­di­tional, like James Treat’s nar­ra­tive on wolves: “fa­thers and mothers gave warn­ing / to their lit­tle chil­dren not to / speak bad or un­kindly of the / wolf.” Oth­ers are per­sonal rec­ol­lec­tions of life as an In­dige­nous per­son, like this from Keri Chee­choo, later echoed by other con­trib­u­tors: “Fe­male and In­dige­nous / I swam be­neath the sur­face / Of so­ci­ety / I spoke and my words / Evap­o­rated.” “Don’t tell us a story,” says waaseyaa’sin chris­tine sy in an­other poem, “tell us your story.”

His­tory, iden­tity and agency all re­ceive in-depth ex­plo­ration here. There’s plenty of the nav­i­ga­tion of ev­ery­day life in 2017, as well. An es­say and review of Liz Howard’s Grif­fin Po­etry Prize-win­ning In­fi­nite Citizen of the Shak­ing Tent hold prom­i­nent po­si­tion. The is­sue’s most in­trigu­ing en­try is a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween co-ed­i­tor Shan­non Maguire and Fin­nish writer Vappu Kan­nas (Maguire points out that there are nu­mer­ous Fin­nish peo­ple liv­ing in

North­ern On­tario). It’s a part Fin­nish, part English long poem that deals in ex­per­i­men­tal (that is, not al­ways lit­eral) trans­la­tion.

For a col­lec­tion with such a spe­cific em­pha­sis, this is­sue of CV2 man­ages a com­mend­able breadth of style and va­ri­ety in both sub­ject mat­ter and per­spec­tive. (Scott Bryson)

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