Paragon Press, 2009
It’s great to read a new collection of poems from a group of poets with a handle on craft and who show promise for future writing. It’s refreshing to read works that are filled with young ambition, experimentation and style-forging.
Tangerine Parallelograms is a new anthology containing work by poets who recently have taken part in Newfoundland poet Mary Dalton’s creative writing classes at Memorial University. These poems have all the passion and immediacy of fresh, eager writers tempered through seminar discussion and workshop atmosphere. Variety in voice, style, and subject matter make this collection a well worth the reading. There are traditional forms — Andrew Erb’s “The Bear Attack Ballad”, Jam Michael Macdonald’s “The Destruction of Element” (sestina), and Jody Beth-Lee’s “Nan” and “Pop” (cinquains) to name a few, showing that these students have begun with tradition, where all good writers should. Conversely, there are experiments with free verse structure in which the poet allows words to play on the page itself, both figuratively and topographically — “Danielle Tucker’s “The Gardener’s Daughter”, Kyle Carpenter’s “Ferrying”, and Stephen Aylward’s “ConfusIonIsm”.
This book scans some of the best works by these new writers and presents them in a well designed, appealing package. Often student collections present merely a few good poems and an abundance of ill-chosen ones or those lacking a strength consistent throughout the collection. Tangerine Parallelograms avoids this pitfall of juvenilia and provides the reader with strong, relevant writing from cover to cover. Keep your eyes out for these emerging writers in the coming years.