May 17, 2011
“Marcus McCann plays more academic literary games in Town in a long day of leaving,” writes Brown, and, “sometimes the teacher cracks a joke, as in his re-arrangement of the pop song ‘Crazy.’”
December 3, 2010
What makes a McCann poem is the relative ease with which he twists words, phrases and ideas. He turns them so quickly-slow that you don’t even notice the twists until you’re already caught up into them, making them one of the best examples of what can be called “serious play” in poetry (which can often seem a rarity, even through those who claim to be working within it). McCann makes his impromptu feats look deceptively simple, a leap and a twist in mid-air and a perfect landing, in a poetry that knows far more than it lets on.
–rob mclennan writing on Force Quit (The Emergency Response Unit, 2008) in The Antigonish Review
September 12, 2010
From the Newlove citation:
“From the startling metaphoric seize of the opening, the lines propel themselves full throttle, through sonic reverberations and imaginative mimesis,” wrote judge Stephanie Bolster at the time.
The Glass Jaw will be launched at the Ottawa International Writers Festival on October 25 at 6:30pm, where the next winner of the John Newlove Award will be announced.
August 12, 2010
Who are your favourite heroes in fiction?
In the best books, there are no heroes.
What are your favourite names?
Boys: Flounder, Tobasco. Girls: Camanda, Countessa, Cassette. Floundra in a pinch. Unisex: Collander.
What is it you most dislike?
Watching people yell at each other on TV.
What is your motto?
Find the mortal world enough. (It’s Auden)
August 12, 2010
“I don’t want to talk too much about polyamory, though. It’s not really something I care about. But I like that Marcus McCann cares about it as much as he does. And I like when poets do well in other public forums, ones beyond the sanctity of the country’s various poetry cults. It was exciting to listen to him walk all over the other guy’s weird logic.”
Read Jacob McArthur Mooney’s piece here.
April 1, 2010
Open letter on the announcement of the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award nominations:
I am grateful for the opportunity presented by the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award and the League of Canadian Poets. As a prize associated with a first book, it goes a long way to nurturing emerging writers. The shortlist putsme in fantastic company with Robert Earl Stewart, Marguerite Pigeon, Soraya Peerbaye, James Langer and Kate Hall.
Every one of the Lampert-nominated poets has published widely in Canadian literary magazines. They are the best place, often the only place, for young poets to test themselves against their peers. And so, with the announcement today, I’m also mindful of the changes coming to the Canadian Magazine Fund, instituted by the Conservative Party under Stephen Harper.
The changes to the CMF will cripple many small magazines and will likely lead some magazines to fold. I call on the federal government to restore funding rules that support small magazines to promote emerging writers.
Happy National Poetry Month.
Jury citation for Soft Where:
Soft Where by Marcus McCann is a hard-hitting cutting edge poetic expose of a world filled with experimentation and valour. This stunning book explores the possibilities of bringing image to life, written in the language of the people and soaked in a heart of sapphire. The jury was intoxicated by this book, and feels this young writer should be encouraged in every and all ways—to the full extent of poetic promise. The language in Soft Where is as stark and meaningful as the images which express a lifestyle hard-lived and yet as delicate as an origami bird.
More at poets.ca
February 12, 2010
Let’s be honest. The trouble with reviewing books of poetry is that I can take a few lines like “Heat like a sacred / plaza rocks us,” (the first few lines of a Marcus McCann poem) and either argue it’s an awkward image with no emotional resonance (a plaza is not sacred) or brilliantly postmodern, jarring us into an awareness of misleading modern perspectives.
February 8, 2010
January 31, 2010
(Sorry for the delay in posting this link to rob mclennan’s 12 or 20 questions questionnaire interview with me.)
“For me, poetry is about grammar. In everyday English, we tend to use the same sentence constructions — subject, verb, object — over and over. So I spend a lot of time with things like interjections, parentheticals, phrasal subjects, and playing with using words as different parts of speech. In my own work, I’m looking to stretch rather than break grammar…. give English a chance to show off.”
Roundup of more Marcus McCann links: interview on The Bystander podcast. Poems for precious chapbooks in the ditch, anthology. Essay on Genus Envy (is our culture fixated on plagiarism?) published by Angel House Press. A review of Shane Neilson’s new book at the Agora Review. Some reflections in Ottawater. Cultural reporting on why dated cultural artifacts like the work of John Hughes and the musical Rent still matter to gay folks.