Vallum 2017 Year in Review: Part One

2018

2017 was a busy year for Vallum!

We launched Vallum: Contemporary Poetry issues 14:1 and 14:2, and published two new chapbooks: Mind of Spring by Jami Macarty, winner of the 2017 Vallum Chapbook Award, and entre-Ban by Bhanu Kapil, a collection of notes taken by Bhanu Kapil during the writing of her 2015 book, Ban en Banlieue. Read about our new chapbooks here.

Ali Blythe won the 2017 Award for Poetry with “Waking in the Preceding,” while Brian Henderson received second place with “The Incommensurate.” Honourable mentions went to Judy Little for “Ur Signs” and Roberta Senechal for “After Eden.”

We also hosted two pop-up shops, at Le Cagibi and the Concordia Co-op Bookstore, attended press fairs in Toronto, Calgary, Ottawa, and Montreal, and hosted outreach workshops with new facilitators and organizers.

To commemorate Vallum’s busy and successful year, we asked this year’s contributors to share their thoughts on the books they read in 2017 and what’s in store for the year ahead.

Here’s what some of the writers published in Vallum Issue 14:1 said (stay tuned to hear from Vallum 14:2 poets, our chapbook authors, and 2017 contest winners):


Sonnet L’Abbé

dr-s-labbeWhat was your favourite poetry book published this year?
An Honest Woman
, by Jónína Kirton.

What was your best poetry discovery this year?
Délani Valin, “No Buffalos”

What’s on your reading list for 2018?
Kith by Divya Victor; Call Out by David Bradford; Full Metal Indigiqueer, Joshua Whitehead; Retreats by Karen Solie.

Sonnet L’Abbé is a professor at Vancouver Island University. Her chapbook, Anima Canadensis, came out with Junction Books in 2016, and won the bpNichol Chapbook Award in 2017. L’Abbé’s upcoming collection, Sonnet’s Shakespeare,  will be published by McClelland and Stewart in 2018. Read “XVL,” from her forthcoming collection, in Issue 14:1


Klara Du Plessis

kdpcrop

What was your favourite poetry book published this year?
Titles are evading me—I know I read many exquisite poetry collections and now I can’t remember any!

One of my favourites is Erin Robinsong’s Rag Cosmology (BookThug), which I read while camping in Northern Quebec during the summer. There is an openness, integrity, playfulness, and ecological relevance to these, somewhat long-form, poems. Erin’s language has a way of dismantling itself and regrouping organically, which I admire and enjoy.

What was your best poetry discovery this year?
Captured somewhere proclaiming that I’m dedicating my life to poetry, I also remembered again, this year, that poetry necessitates variegating life, nurturing, instead of neglecting, an array of personal interests—attending contemporary dance performances and art exhibitions, getting a pedicure, taking time to care for yourself, taking care of others—the list could be endless, with each enumeration eventually holding the potential to spawn poetry.

What’s on your reading list for 2018?
I’m excited for Tess Liem’s debut from Coach House Books, and Shannon Maguire’s new Zip’s File: A Romance of Silence from BookThug. Admittedly, I haven’t researched the forthcoming lists of books to be published in 2018 yet, but I spent some time recently curating a list of titles for myself to explore in the coming months. A few of these include: Renee Gladman’s Calamities, Cecilia Vicuña’s Spit Temple (which is an anthology of transcriptions from performance projects), Etel Adnan’s Night, Gregoire Pam Dick’s Metaphysical Licks, Koleka Putuma’s Collective Amnesia (I want to read more South African literature generally). I’d like to continue reading and supporting friends, whether in published form or not; chapbooks will definitely float onto my list, especially with new endeavours such as Rahila’s Ghost Press and Knife Fork Book’s imprint.

Klara du Plessis is a poet and critic residing in Montreal. Her chapbook Wax Lyrical (Anstruther Press, 2015) was shortlisted for the bpNichol Chapbook Award, and her debut collection Ekke is forthcoming (Palimpsest Press, 2018). She curates the monthly, Montreal-based Resonance Reading Series. Read her review of Alex Manley’s We are All Just Animals and Plants and Steven Heighton’s The Waking Comes Late in Issue 14:1


Bill Neumire

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What was your favourite poetry book published this year?
I particularly enjoyed In the Language of My Captor by Shane McCrae

What was your best poetry discovery this year?
This isn’t a book, but I’m going to cheat a little and say that Paris Review’s new podcast series is my best poetry discovery of the year. They really put out a finely polished product that makes my commute much more enjoyable.

What’s on your reading list for 2018?
Laura Kasischke’s New and Selected Poems is one I’m really looking forward to this year.

Bill Neumire’s first book, Estrus, was a semi-finalist for the 42 Miles Press Award, and his recent poems appear in the Harvard Review Online, Beloit Poetry Journal, and West Branch. Read his review of Rob Taylor’s The News in Issue 14:1


Jeffrey Mackie

exposmackie

What was your favourite poetry book published this year?
Catriona WrightTable Manners

What was your best poetry discovery this year?
Shannon Webb-Campbell

What’s on your reading list for 2018?
I really want to read Sue Elmslie’s Museum of Kindness as I have enjoyed her past work. I also want to read Daljit Nagra from the UK as I have heard great things about his work.

Jeffrey Mackie is a Montreal poet. He has been featured on Mountain Lake PBS and in the anthology The Poet’s Quest for God (Eyewear), UK, 2016. He also has a new pamphlet collection available called Memory and Cities (Sitting Duck Press, 2016). In addition, he hosts the popular Literary Report on CKUT radio. Read his poem “The Days” in Issue 14:1


Adam Lawrence

What was your favourite poetry book published this year?
Jeramy Dodds’s Drakkar Noir
-I had the pleasure of hearing Dodds recite some of the weird gems in this collection (I’ll never look at Santa Claus, amusement rides, or Canada in the same way).

Xenotext

What was your best poetry discovery this year?
Peter Trower, Haunted Hills & Hanging Valleys, 1969-2004
– An excellent collection that offers a vivid portrait of the logging life – in terse, grim, joyful language.

What’s on your reading list for 2018?
Leonard Cohen’s The Flame and Christian Bök’s The Xenotext

Adam Lawrence’s writing has appeared in Quills Canadian Poetry Magazine, Salon, JSTOR Daily, Vallum: Contemporary Poetry, and Feathertale.com. He’s taught writing and literature courses throughout eastern Canada, and is currently a freelance writer and editor in Montreal. Read his poem “Evolution” in Issue 14:1


Maureen Korp

korp.jpg

What was your favourite poetry book published this year?
Blaine Marchand.  My Head, Filled with Pakistan (2016)

What was your best poetry discovery this year?
Rereading chunks of my big, old battered copy of The Collected Poems of W.B.Yeats (1940) as I worked my way through a spiffy, new biography of Yeats—Fiona Biggs, The Pocket Yeats (2017).

What’s on your reading list for 2018?
Whatever I have not yet read by Patrick Leigh Fermor.  His letters have just been published. Also, a fine collection of poems by three Palestinian poets:  I remember My Name: Poetry by Samah Sabawi Ramzy Baroud, Jehan Bseiso (2016).

Maureen Korp is a military brat, the daughter of an American soldier. She grew up in faraway places including Okinawa, Hokkaido, Oklahoma, Texas, and Germany. Home base today is Ottawa. She is a university lecturer and researcher. Her field is visionary earth-centered art. Read her poem “Oahu” in Issue 14:1


E. Canine McJabber—Winner, Vallum Award for Poetry 2016

catriona

What was your favourite poetry book published this year?
Reading Catriona Wright’s Table Manners while road-tripping was a terrible idea, but only because it gave me all the cravings that gas station food could only fail to satisfy. It’s all tender and toothy.

What was your best poetry discovery this year?
I’m super in love with the wealth of writing by queer, trans*, and Two-Spirit writers in Canada. Reading books by Kai Cheng Thom, Amber Dawn, Joshua Whitehead, and many others feels like coming home to a place I didn’t know I had the keys for.

What’s on your reading list for 2018?            
So far just my dogs’s horoscopes on the Astro Poets twitter page.

E. Canine McJabber has published poems in several journals and zines across Canada. A travelling salesperson by day, they live and write between Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec. Their travel entourage consists of their two pups, Bonnie and Clyde. Read their award-winning poem “To My Mother, Aloud” in Issue 14:1. 


James Mckee—2nd Place Winner, Vallum Award for Poetry 2016

james mckee twr

What was your favourite poetry book published this year?
I have two choices for this question: Patricia Smith’s Incendiary Art, aptly titled if ever a book were, and Ange Mlinko’s Distant Mandate, exquisite & memorable in all the right ways.

What was your best poetry discovery this year?
Like many readers, I suspect, I only became aware of Max Ritvo’s work after he left us. His was a real loss. Of our older poets, this year I read through the books of Derek Walcott, one of our true contemporary masters.

What’s on your reading list for 2018?
I seem to be perpetually engaged in a losing battle to fill in the vast gaps in my reading, and next year will be no different: I plan to read for the first time (the shame!) Joseph Brodsky; to reread old favorites like Robert Pinsky, Elizabeth Bishop, and Robert Lowell; and to give another try to poets whom in the past I haven’t much liked, like John Ashbery and Ted Hughes (maybe this time. . . )

A New Yorker by birth (and likely by death), James McKee’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Acumen, The Raintown Review, Saranac Review, The South Carolina Review, THINK, The Worcester Review, The Rotary Dial, and elsewhere. Read his award-winning poem “To a Young Man Seen Wearing a Bow Tie” in Issue 14:1


Salvatore Difalco—Honorable Mention, Vallum Award for Poetry 2016

sam3

What was your favourite poetry book published this year?
Favourite poetry book published this year was a tie with Peter Gizzi’s  Archeophonics and John Ashbery’s dreamy translation of Rimbaud’s Illuminations.

What was your best poetry discovery this year?
Alien vs Predator, a book by Michael Robbins. The book is OK, but the poem “Alien vs Predator” is enviably groovy. I dig it.

What’s on your reading list for 2018?
Anything but Canadian poetry, I’m afraid.

Salvatore Difalco lives in Toronto. His work has appeared in print and online. Read his award-winning poem “Joy” in Issue 14:1


J. Mark Smith

November_cover.jpeg

What was your favourite poetry book published this year?
November (Bayeux Arts, 2017). The title refers to November, 1984 and the genocidal violence against Indian Sikhs that followed the assassination of Indira Gandhi.  Jaspreet Singh’s family narrowly escaped death in those pogroms, and many of the poems in this book are about the long aftermath of that time. Witty, poignant, multilingual, erudite poems by a writer who has fully absorbed the lessons of the modernist and the postcolonial traditions.

What was your best poetry discovery this year?
Ten Poems of Francis Ponge translated by Robert Bly & Ten Poems of Robert Bly inspired by Francis Ponge (Owl’s Head Press, 1990). I can’t quite shake the feeling I’m not supposed to like Robert Bly, but he is a great translator and poet. An incredibly beautiful little book that I came across for the first time this year. Also: Stories from the Road Allowance People (Gabriel Dumont Institute, 2010; revised ed.) Translated by Maria Campbell. Technically, these are oral tales, originally in Michif, rendered into a Metis dialect of English by Campbell. But they’ve been set down with such attention to verbal and sonic detail, to the rhythm of phrase and sentence, that I think of them as poems. I never knew about this book until a few months ago; it’s great.

What’s on your reading list for 2018?
I’ve been looking forward for a couple of years now — as it’s been delayed several times — to the publication of Architecture of Dispersed Life: Selected Poems by Pablo de Rokha; translated by Urayoán Noel (Shearsman Books, 2018.) This will be the first book-length translation into English of work by one of Chile’s greatest twentieth century poets.

J. Mark Smith‘s verse translations (from Chilean Spanish) of poems by Winétt de Rokha have appeared recently in Shearsman and The Fortnightly Review. His essay “The Richest Boy in the World” was published in Queen’s Quarterly 122: 1 (Spring 2015). He teaches in the English Department at MacEwan University. Read his poem “Prayers for C. Elegans and H. Sapiens” in Issue 14:1


Crystal Hurdle

Hurdle portrait 2016 Fall.jpg

What was your favourite poetry book published this year?
I loved AUGURIES by Clea Roberts.

What was your best poetry discovery this year?
​Have been excited to read verse novels for middle-grade readers and am keen on reading more.

What’s on your reading list for 2018?
Bring on fiction titles by Erdrich, Cusk, and Wolitzer, not to mention volume one of Sylvia Plath’s collected letters.  At over 1300 words, it may well be a book I’ll still be reading in 2019!

Crystal Hurdle teaches English and Creative Writing at Capilano University in North Vancouver, BC. In October 2007, she was Guest Poet at the International Sylvia Plath Symposium at the University of Oxford, reading from After Ted & Sylvia: Poems. Her work, poetry and prose, has been published in many journals, including Canadian Literature, The Literary Review of Canada, Event, Bogg, Fireweed, and The Dalhousie Review. Teacher’s Pets, a teen novel in verse, was published in 2014. Read her poem “Bog People” in Issue 14:1, and her poem “Veterinarian Dr. Bondo” in Issue 14:2


Cover PDF

You can read all the poets featured in this edition of our Year in Review in Vallum Issue 14:1.

Look out for more Year in Review responses from poets featured in Vallum coming later this month!

And be sure to check out our Poem of the Week blog for 52 of our favourite poems this year.

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Vallum Poem of the Week: “The Descent” by William Varner

The Descent

In the thicket of laws
I grew weary of the machete’s dull blade.
All around me were others
Turning slowly into plant-like creatures
Out of a campy horror movie
Tattoos of snakes, dragons, roses and thorns.
I too was turning, the vines growing
Into and up my legs, green blotches
And lines like varicose veins.
Each day new people arrived
Clean-shaven and smelling of fresh deodorant
They were not ready for the bugs and fire ants
Travelling over their sweaty necks.
They were not ready for anything.
The lightning threatened us all at night
Thrown in like javelins by people unseen.
The lone one who could sleep murmured
Constantly of boat rides with his father
The smell of cedar and baked apples in November.
We listened and with our dim torches
Traced our guilty fingers down the smooth, granite walls.

William Varner‘s poems have appeared in The American Journal of Poetry, Boston Review, The Cincinnati Review, Cimarron Review, The Greensboro Review, Green Mountains Review, Harpur Palate, New Ohio Review, Smartish Pace, and elsewhere. He works as Managing Editor for an educational publisher and lives in South Berwick, Maine.

To view other poems published in this issue please visit Vallum’s website.

Vallum magazine is also available in digital format. Featuring additional content such as: AUDIO and VIDEO recordings of selected poets, further poems, interviews, essays, and MORE!

Download the FREE APP and FREE SAMPLE EDITION for your tablet, kindle or smartphone through PocketMags OR iTunes.

Vallum Poem of the Week: “A Mid-Wife’s Late Sabbatical” by Peter Richardson

A Mid-Wife’s Late Sabbatical

Say tilted fields run up shadowed valleys
farther than you can walk with an easel,
does it matter? You have a rented horse.
A horse can graze for hours while you,
unpacking canvasses and food, adjust
your skewed optics to the washed air.
Later you can return to your pension
whose shower runs on tokens. Tense
por favors entreat you soon enough
through doorways of notched stone
where instinct demands you deliver
children since doctors are on strike.
Is risk a woman hiked up on a bed?
She may be doing a marathon here.
Your right hand takes her left wrist
and gauges her fine galloping pulse.
One good whack sets her son going.
Then you’re back out on the massif,
recalling a wealth of obstetrical tips.
It pleases you to ride from lavender
to lichen as light touches tiled roofs.
How did it take this long for insight
to reach you? Were you asleep? Let
the man hooked on new beginnings,
who shrank from your night sweats,
peel grapes for his child bride. Your
daughters can survive without word
from their painter mother till August.
In the village where you are admired,
where the Basque café owner refuses
the Euros you offer for a daily pastis,
lemon trees are losing their blossoms
but you don’t mind holing up here, not
for this jumbled throw of terraced fields.

Peter Richardson has published four collections of poetry, the most recent of which, Bit Parts for Fools, was a finalist for the 2014 Archibald Lampman Award. An earlier collection, Sympathy for the Couriers, won the 2008 QWF’s A.M. Klein Award. His poems have appeared in The Malahat Review, The Fiddlehead, Poetry Magazine (Chicago) and Poetry Ireland Review among others. He recently moved back to Montreal after a fourteen-year hiatus in Gatineau.

To view other poems published in this issue please visit Vallum’s website.

Vallum magazine is also available in digital format. Featuring additional content such as: AUDIO and VIDEO recordings of selected poets, further poems, interviews, essays, and MORE!

Download the FREE APP and FREE SAMPLE EDITION for your tablet, kindle or smartphone through PocketMags OR iTunes.

Vallum Poem of the Week: “Removable Tattoos” by Piotr Gwiazda

Removable Tattoos

Root causes are in fashion, so are futures markets
and pink baby turnips. Culture is in,
anarchy almost out. Tattoos can be removed.
Judas Iscariot has been rehabilitated.

The great tradition of historical baloney
is coming to an end. Politics are impure,
entertainers inept, a nail in a wall
is just a nail in a wall, but who’s complaining?

Every six months you are required to change
your email password and/or sexual partner.
You fell asleep one sunny afternoon
and woke up in a driving hailstorm.

All is not lost, however, when poets—
tired of contests, fed up with manifestos—
improvise in softly toned sprechstimme
songs of dubious importance and vague beauty.

Piotr Gwiazda’s recent books include a book of criticism, U.S. Poetry in the Age of Empire (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), a volume of poems Aspects of Strangers (Moria Books, 2016), and a translation of Grzegorz Wróblewski’s Zero Visibility (Phoneme Media, 2017). He teaches at the University of Pittsburgh.

To view other poems published in this issue please visit Vallum’s website.

Vallum magazine is also available in digital format. Featuring additional content such as: AUDIO and VIDEO recordings of selected poets, further poems, interviews, essays, and MORE!

Download the FREE APP and FREE SAMPLE EDITION for your tablet, kindle or smartphone through PocketMags OR iTunes.

Vallum Poem of the Week: “Hubris in the 21st Century” by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Hubris in the 21st Century

I find it hard to believe
I would be swept up
and killed
in a passing tornado.

I almost challenge the gods
as much.

I’ve done so many reckless things in my life
and should have died
so many times
that I now know
I have nine lives

or at the very least
a few more get out of jail free cards
kicking around.

Every time there’s thunder and lightning
I go stand out in the rain
with a nine iron raised above my head

and I don’t even golf.

It’s the family of four
with a double mortgage
and extensive life insurance coverage
a few blocks away

that kicks the bucket when the oak in their front lawn
caves in on dinner time.

I’m just left standing out in the rain
until the thunder and lightning stops
and I walk home with my eyes closed

across four lanes
of traffic.

Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his wife and many bears that rifle through his garbage.  His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, Vallum, Windsor Review, The New York Quarterly, Existere, Quills, The Dalhousie Review, CV2,and The Antigonish Review.

To view other poems published in this issue please visit Vallum’s website.

Vallum magazine is also available in digital format. Featuring additional content such as: AUDIO and VIDEO recordings of selected poets, further poems, interviews, essays, and MORE!

Download the FREE APP and FREE SAMPLE EDITION for your tablet, kindle or smartphone through PocketMags OR iTunes.

Vallum Poem of the Week: “Class Confusion” by Scott Bryson

Class Confusion

“She was wearing these white Zellers shoes
and white socks
that went half way up to her knees.

She was not Gap at all.
She was totally Cotton Ginny.”

Overheard on a sidewalk in Oakville, Ontario, in 2004

Scott Bryson publishes a literary magazine at thebrokencitymag.com and talks about music at telescopemedia.com. His writing has appeared in Broken Pencil and CHART Magazine, among other publications. His hobbies include drinking beer and talking about Star Wars.

To view other poems published in this issue please visit Vallum’s website.

Vallum magazine is also available in digital format. Featuring additional content such as: AUDIO and VIDEO recordings of selected poets, further poems, interviews, essays, and MORE!

Download the FREE APP and FREE SAMPLE EDITION for your tablet, kindle or smartphone through PocketMags OR iTunes.

Featured Literary Event: Montreal Launch of Rebecca Păpucaru’s The Panic Room (Nightwood Editions, 2017)

Launch of Rebecca Păpucaru’s The Panic Room (Nightwood Editions, 2017)
Tuesday September 27th 2017 at Librarie Drawn & Quarterly, Montreal 

On a brisk night at the end of September, a small crowd gathered at Librarie Drawn & Quarterly for the launch of Rebecca Păpucaru’s debut poetry collection The Panic Room (Nightwood Editions, 2017). The guests chatted amongst themselves, helped themselves to the complimentary wine. Old friends greeted each other warmly as they entered. The atmosphere was jovial and relaxed; anything but panicked. The room felt more like a friendly cocktail party than an official book launch, perhaps appropriate for one of the last events held at Drawn & Quarterly’s 211 Bernard Avenue Ouest location, before they opened their new children’s store and event space down the block a few weeks later.

the panic room.jpg

The intimate yet casual mood was certainly fitting for the launch of The Panic Room, a debut poetry collection that draws readers into the humour, heartbreak, pain and banality of everyday life. Described as an exploration of “the complexities of identity and selfhood, memory, embodiment, loss, and family, through the lens of a second-generation Eastern European Jewish immigrant,” The Panic Room blends personal anecdote, stories passed down through generations, and historical narrative to weave an intricate web between the speaker and the world that surrounds them.

linda besner

Opening for Păpucaru was Montreal-based poet, Vallum Pop-up Shop guest  and a former Vallum workshop co-facilitator Linda Benser, whose latest collection Feel Happier in Nine Seconds was released by Coach House Books earlier this year. The observational wit of Besner’s poetry translated well throughout her reading. The irony suggested by her collection’s title—which she admitted was inspired by the self-help headlines of magazines geared towards women—made the moments of tenderness throughout her readings even more pronounced.

After Besner, the debut author took to the stage. An interesting conversation began to unfold between Besner’s poetry and Păpucaru’s. Both poets deftly employ an ironic tone to interrogate the complexities of understanding the self in today’s world. In one poem, Păpucaru’s speaker reflects: “I’m one generation apart from all this, / and ashamed. Of my father, before his / refrigerator, mourning age spots on lettuce.” Through her use of humour, Păpucaru encourages readers to grapple with larger questions of identity, lineage, history, and family. Halfway through her reading, an audience member’s cellphone rang, their Taylor Swift ringtone buzzing throughout the bookstore. “Are you kidding me?” asked Păpucaru, her voice dripping with mock indignation. She rolled her eyes and continued reading.

The launch, like Păpucaru’s and Besner’s poetry, felt familiar and cozy, the singsong conversation of a family reunited around the dinner table after a long time apart.

Read more about The Panic Room by Rebecca Păpucaru here, and Feel Happier in Nine Seconds by Linda Besner here.

Catch Rebecca Păpucaru at the Nightwood Editions Poetry Night in Montreal on Friday November 10th 2017. To learn more, visit their Facebook event.

Vallum Poem of the Week: “La Corriveau” by Deborah Herman

La Corriveau

She keeps me awake at night,
rattling around in the cage of my skull.
She was put on display for forty nights and forty days.
Supposed to represent something dear to the military
tribunal—British law in the colonies, all that.
Hanged by the neck at the foot of the Plains of Abraham.
Her cage suspended above a circle of grass
that won’t grow to this day, the shadow cast
there a blackened pentagram.
Like a good Shakespearean queen
she poured poison in her first husband’s ear.
Like Lizzie Borden she axed her second husband.
Their mistake? Sleeping with both eyes closed.
When the Sibyl of Cumae was asked
what she wanted more than anything,
suspended in a glass bottle
like a bat or a desiccated homunculus,
she replied resignedly, “To die.”

Deborah Herman’s work has appeared in The NonBinary ReviewSilver Apples MagazineSilver Birch PressMotifVallumThe Nashwaak Review and Existere. She is currently working on a collection of poems titled Fractured, in which she defines her project of “neuropoetics.”

To view other poems published in this issue please visit Vallum’s website.

Vallum magazine is also available in digital format. Featuring additional content such as: AUDIO and VIDEO recordings of selected poets, further poems, interviews, essays, and MORE!

Download the FREE APP and FREE SAMPLE EDITION for your tablet, kindle or smartphone through PocketMags OR iTunes.

Vallum Poem of the Week: “The Quote” by Vona Groarke

The Quote

‘The wind climbed right through my window,’ she said, ‘and lay down
in his greatcoat beside me in the bed. He was full of the big talk, had
quite the high opinion of himself. But that’s not all. He pad me two nice
compliments, tendered a line from somewhere with sweethearts in it,
kept his buttons buttoned, his eyes fixed on my breasts, and enquired if I
would remember him and what we would do next.’

Vona Groarke has published seven collections of poetry with Gallery Press, the most recent being X (2014) and Selected Poems, awarded the Pigott Prize for the best book of poetry by an Irish poet in 2016. Her book-length essay on art-frames, Four Sides Full, was also published in 2016. Her poems have recently appeared in The New Yorker, Ploughshares and The Threepenny Review. A former editor of Poetry Ireland Review, she is a Senior Lecturer in poetry at the University of Manchester in the U.K.

To view other poems published in this issue please visit Vallum’s website.

Vallum magazine is also available in digital format. Featuring additional content such as: AUDIO and VIDEO recordings of selected poets, further poems, interviews, essays, and MORE!

Download the FREE APP and FREE SAMPLE EDITION for your tablet, kindle or smartphone through PocketMags OR iTunes.

 

Vallum Poem of the Week: “Northern Lake” by Kenneth Sherman

Northern Lake

They’ve given you a name—
Ox-Tongue, Loon Call,
Big Bass, Turtle—

but long before names
you reflected shattered
sun,

mute clouds,
unconscious eye
of moon.

When the turbulence of wind
pushed you to the limit
you encased yourself in ice
and went silent.

What’s nameless in me
goes with you.

You change,
you remain changeless
and these words are nothing more
than a way of making what vanished
permanent

as you lap away at rock
and nourish the deepening cold.

Born in Toronto, Kenneth Sherman is the author of three books of prose and ten books of poetry, including the highly acclaimed long poems, Words for Elephant Man and Black River. His most recent publications are Wait Time: A Memoir of Cancer, and the poetry collection, Jogging with the Great Ray Charles.

To view other poems published in this issue please visit Vallum’s website.

Vallum magazine is also available in digital format. Featuring additional content such as: AUDIO and VIDEO recordings of selected poets, further poems, interviews, essays, and MORE!

Download the FREE APP and FREE SAMPLE EDITION for your tablet, kindle or smartphone through PocketMags OR iTunes.