Never More There has been reviewed briefly in the Winnipeg Free Press this week. Ariel Gordon has some complimentary things to say about the book and that’s a great thing to see, waking up on a cold Saturday in January.
In his first collection, Never More There (Nightwood Editions, 88 pages, $18), Newfoundland’s Stephen Rowe tackles some of life’s largest questions.
This comes in to sharpest focus in the long poem in the book’s first section on Rowe’s father and grandfather.
Rowe is after what it means to be a man — and a bookish male poet, to boot — especially when the grandfather you revere was an über-male: bear-like, equally at home in a wrestling ring or a logging camp.
A few poems further in, facing a landscape named and numbered by his grandfather’s generation, Rowe states his poetic thesis:
“Is there any wonder / I want to give these places names of my own? / Brand them with moments / like memories, but more real: / walk through this place in sunlight, / surefooted, / hands swinging by my side.”
Rowe recasts the small tragedies of his life in Gander as soaring for-the-ages tragedy in what amounts to a memorable debut.
You can check out the other books reviewed in the print edition as well by going here.