Briefly Noted

New Alberta Books

By Tadzio Richards

Arts that Flow as Stories from Our Landscape: Alberta

Edited by Jane Ross, Battle River Writing Centre, 2021

The latest anthology from the Battle River Writing Centre, a group of “collaborating writers… who live or have lived in the [central Alberta] region, or who come to the region for inspiration and fellowship,” this beautiful book of vivid paintings, poems and essays is a literary love letter to our province. As editor and contributor Jane Ross writes, “You hold in your hands an art-with-words book, for retracing intimate lost worlds. To read it you will need to think, feel and imagine. It deals with places little known to many… It is told in poems, reflections and stories [and] it is meant to be read silently by oneself, or alone and aloud to hear the words spoken, or aloud and listening in company with others.”

Prairie Girl Collective

by Madison N. Taylor, Natahna Bargen-Lema, Kayla McCutcheon and Danielle Richardson, Party Trick Press, 2020

An evocative e-book collection from a new digitally focused Alberta press, Prairie Girl Collective brings together the work of four poets from Alberta and Saskatchewan. Grouped around themes of girlhood, sisterhood, motherhood and womanhood, the collection features diverse perspectives and experiences spanning from youthful memories of growing up on the land to personal reckoning with past abusers. Lines in the opening poem, “Good Girl,” by Kayla McCutcheon, exemplify the whole: “I’m fierce and feisty,/ determined and hopeful,/ and full of the right amount/ of untamed rage.”



The Call of the Red-Winged Blackbird

In The Call of the Red-Winged Blackbird, Tim Bowling offers his readers a deep and intimate conversation about contemporary existence, particularly mortality, loss and solitude. Though he wrote all but one of the essays before the pandemic, the book’s preoccupations make it a particularly timely read for the COVID era. The ...

Bucking Conservatism

My own social justice activism started in the 1980s. Movement work gave me a transformative education in many things, including the importance of documentation. These lessons came from feminists teaching women’s histories at their kitchen tables, and folks doing South African solidarity work who carefully mimeographed monthly newsletters. However small our ...

Ezra’s Ghosts

After the terror attacks on New York City and Washington D.C., we saw novels influenced by that tragedy. Darcy Tamayose’s latest book may not be arriving with the same fanfare as the 9/11-influenced works by DeLillo, Messud or Auster, but like those authors she successfully captures the intimate, felt experience of ...