Caitlynn Cummings has an MSc in Creative Writing from the University of Edinburgh and writes poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and drama. She is the Coordinator of the Calgary Distinguished Writers Program and the former Managing Editor of filling Station. A chapbook of her short fiction, entitled Chloe, was published by 100 têtes Press in 2013. Her work can also be found in This Magazine, Alberta Views, dead (g)end(er), Cordite Poetry Review, Glass Buffalo, ditch, and New Writing Scotland. Follow her on Twitter @Tartaned_Maple.
Issues:57 (untitled) - Editorial 54 (untitled) - Editorial 53 (untitled) - Editorial 53 Digesting Scanned Breath: An Interview with Calgary Poet Laureate Kris Demeanor - Interview 53 Review of Croak by Jenny Sampirisi - Review 52 Review of Cosmolgraphira: A Post-Lucretian Faux Micro-Epic by Michael Boughn - Review
Digesting Scanned Breath: An Interview with Calgary Poet Laureate Kris Demeanor
Kris Demeanor’s favourite word is fruit. He likes the way it forces his mouth to purse and his lips to extend; he also admires its upward lilt, its sing-songiness. Demeanor is most well known as a singer-songwriter but has recently acquired the epithet of Calgary Poet Laureate. He took the two-year gig, paying $10,000 CAD total, to "pay off a third of [his] credit card debt." In all seriousness, though, and with the gravity due his appointment, he took the job "to articulate the experience of the city through creative language."
Review of Croak by Jenny Sampirisi
Jenny Sampirisi’s collection of poetry Croak is more than words. It is as visual as it is verbal, tactile as it is text. The paper stock is thick, ribbed, and luxurious to flip. The extensive use of white space gives Sampirisi’s poetry room to breathe, or ribbit, as the case may be. The cover of Croak is, as are the images within its pages, worthy of exhibition. Human anatomy blends into frog, and back again, which happens to be the connecting tissue of this collection. A "frog-and-girl opera in three parts," Croak reads like a classic Euripidean (or perhaps more aptly, Aristophanic) drama, equipped with chorus and stage directions (back cover). In this way the poetry is performative and direct, even if the language is at times obscure. The reader is forced to stage the drama in his/her mind, an additional visual element, envisioning a chorus of frogs in "Spotlight. Top hat and cane. Tap shoes. Cheeks puffed out" (66).
Review of "Cosmolgraphira: A Post-Lucretian Faux Micro-Epic" by Michael Boughn
Epic poems are a traditional component of any classics or English literature degree. Having specialized in these subjects, I would consider Spenser’s The Faerie Queene, Homer’s Iliad and Ovid’s Metamorphoses to be old friends. That said, just because they are friends does not mean they were always pleasant. Epics are doozies, but I approached the pages of Michael Boughn’s Cosmographia: A Post-Lucretian Faux Micro-Epic with far less bracing than usual. A contemporary epic, a faux-epic, even. This will be far easier than my old friends, I thought. Mistake #1.