Friday, 21 November 2008

Pennies from Heaven

In the latest issue Quill and Quire, Zach Wells has some very nice things to say about Shannon Stewart's Penny Dreadful:

"This is an ambitious undertaking that could have gone wrong in many ways, but Stewart eschews finger-wagging moralizing through formal playfulness. Selectively employed, well-timed rhymes often evoke children's verse, creating an effective juxtaposition of light and dark. Her handling of tone and perspective are deft as well. In one poem, for instance, the speaker ironizes her own relative affluence in a housing co-op; while some women "climbed into trucks, / closed doors and were gone," others "watched from [their] windows, / made cups of tea, carried on." The too-easy emotion is never indulged, the poet's big heart always balanced by her cold eye and keen wit."

Another endorsement came from the Vancouver weekly The Straight, which published a profile of Stewart for the occasion of Penny Dreadful's launch last month. Patty Jone calls the book "funny, horrifying, bizarre, rawly sexual, and heart-rending, frequently all at once.” Another great quote from the piece: "For the record, her poems are not as nice as she looks"

You can read the profile in its entirety here.

Below is a video of Stewart reading during her launch at the Railway Club. You can see more clips on her website

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