What I’m Reading

  • Post category:Non-fiction

Omar El Akkad “What Strange Paradise” drew me right into his story and characters. Despite the gravity of the subject, the refugee crisis, the story is so well told, that I’m keen to continue and will recommend this to my book club.


  • Norman Fischer’s “Experience – Thinking, Writing, Language and Religion” is a collection of essays, articles and letters written over a thirty-year period. It is a book rich with ideas and inspiration, a book I dip into to read one chapter at a time. I understand what he means when he writes about poetry as a practice, a contemplative practice like Zen meditation.”You do it; you simply do it with devotion. It sustains you for its own sake. You don’t write to publish. You publish to write. The writing as practice–as personal sense of meaning, as salvation–is the thing… Writing that is both more and less than communication.” p. 176


  • Patrick Lane’s “The Quiet in Me”, is his posthumous poetry collection edited by Lorna Crozier. “How thin the night, a mole’s cry waking me” from the poem called Om. As I read the poems, I hear his voice, despite him being gone for over three years. In the poems, I notice his closeness to mortality and the frailty of the human body as death approaches.
  • Kelsey Andrews “big sky falling” is her first collection of poems published by Ronsdale Press. It is packed with close-up sensory details and wisdom related to nature and the body. I was delighted to hear her read at Planet Earth Poetry during the Poets Caravan celebration and to buy her book. In a poem called Turning, she writes: “The years when you grow and contract/ at the same time, that’s when you bend./ Limbs circling in on themselves, thoughts/ wriggling into an open nest open like a bowl.”


  • I finished Ruth Ozeki’s “The Book of Form and Emptiness” which is innovative and inspiring—highly recommended.
  •  Up next on my shelf: Miriam Toews, “Women Talking” 

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