Over at Xtra, Billeh Nickerson reviews The Hard Return. Here’s a bit of what he has to say:
Perhaps I’m going out on a limb, but I’ll speculate that no other book of poetry published in Canada this year will include meditations on dunk tanks (that’s dunk without an r, you party animals), pissing in public, saxophones, orgasms and puffy coats. This is a good thing. Poetry is too often predictable. This book is not.
June 20, 2012
…and in other news, check out the blog of Cameron Anstee, who grapples with having his words filched for a McCann cento in The Hard Return:
It is somewhat horrifying to be reminded of this older work, and even more horrifying to think that Marcus had looked at it relatively recently. I remember writing and laying out this chapbook during my final summer working for the City of Ottawa in School Zone Traffic Safety in the Traffic and Parking Department (it was more exciting than it sounds!). I think the layout has held up more strongly than the poems, but I still have a soft spot for the poem Marcus plundered….
Elsewhere in the blogosphere, rob mclennan turned his attention to The Hard Return in May. Here’s what he had to say:
Over the months since his first trade collection, Soft Where (Ottawa ON: Chaudiere Books, 2009), former Ottawa poet Marcus McCann’s gymnastic poems have become nearly bulletproof, composing lines one can bounce both quarter or a round off. His second collection, The Hard Return (Toronto ON: Insomniac Press, 2012), one of the final season of Paul Vermeersch’s tenure as poetry editor (before heading off to Wolsak & Wynn) writes of dislocation and location, writing the tension between a series of opposite positions. The density of McCann’s lines are incredibly packed, and move at lightspeed, nearly light-headedly so.
May 10, 2012
The Hard Return, the follow-up to 2009’s Soft Where, is available now. From the back of the book: The Hard Return is a broken list of metaphors for the human heart. Or it’s a troubling elegy for a disposable world. Or it’s something much less serious than that. Alternating between loving descriptions of twenty-first-century excess and awkward social situations, Marcus McCann’s poems are sincere and ironic, sad and half-joking, often in the same instant. Buy it here.
June 20, 2011
Roundup of some recent links: Marcus McCann interviews Judith Butler in Xtra (and in Briarpatch); Patrick Connors interviews McCann before his reading at the Brockton Writers Series; photos taken at Versefest and Proud of Toronto; plus, some short essays: an appreciation of the poet Nicholas Lea in the Globe and Mail, and reviews of David Bateman and Hiromi Goto’s Wait Until Late Afternoon, Martin Duberman’s A Saving Remnant and Jen Currin’s The Inquisition Yours.
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.