Saturday, March 10, 2007

Making Tracks-A University of Ottawa Anthology

Making Tracks, A University of Ottawa Anthology, Friday Circle, 2007 is the eleventh in a series of class anthologies by participants in Seymour Mayne’s Creative Writing Poetry Workshop at the University of Ottawa (ENG 3264).

To my knowledge this marks the final ENG 3264 poetry class to be taught by Seymour Mayne. Let’s hope I’m wrong. This year Professor Mayne is teaching the advanced workshop, ENG 4398.

Making Tracks features the poetry of Kelly Clarke, Wojtek Copija, Marley Davidson, Isabella Drzemczewska Hodson, Andrew Faulkner, Lindsay Foran, Joe Hickey, Adam Maloney, Shanthi Minor and Janice Thurston.

This year is the first of Friday Circle’s perfect bound publications. The design and layout by Ottawa Arts Review editor Andrew Falkner is clean and literary journalish rather than ziney.

Here’s some stuff about some of the poems:

Clarke’s writing is a mix of sensuality, heartfelt confession and humour. There’s a hint of surrealism in lines like: “She sings little sounds that drip like honey,/ and I stir them into my wine for one.” Little Sounds

Copija’s pieces are lyrical and passionate with references to mythology and the Spanish poet, Neruda. Nocturnes has a delicate and subtle eroticism.

Davidson writes in a spare style and gets to the point with a minimal of histrionics. The poem “happy-hour” opens with force: “pour me something dark/that curdles the blood.

Hickey’s poems contain strong and original imagery. The poems are lyrical and spare. There’s a seductive rhythm to lines like “I was rolling the rocks all day.” and “my arms are stuffed with embers/and my eyelashes have become/little lead sinkers.” from The Best Sleep There Is.

Minor’s poems vary from light-hearted humour in Cowboy Hate to sadness in her prose piece “it’s a fallen world that cries at the sight of a second blue line”

Previous folk in these anthologies have won awards, are working on their first poetry collections or are taking creative writing, doing PhDs or involved in publishing. Let’s hope the writers in this collection make tracks in the literary limelight. The potential is definitely there.

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