I’m slow seeing this, but I just noticed today that there was a review of Never More There in Canadian Literature back in December. The reviewer, Paul Kennett, has some positive things to say about the poems therein and it’s great to see a review a couple years after the book was released. Here’s an excerpt, but you can read the entire review here:
The most arresting poems are the ones that compose portraits of the narrator’s father and grandfather, poems that extend past the salt-of-the-earth meditations and grapple instead with the anxiety of a mortal lineage. The reader learns that the grandfather was a strong man whose physique and personality exceeded the merely human:You’re bent over, / legs solid as spruce trunks, holding a shovel in your large hands. . . . You’re short, but broad in the shoulders; hunched over baring teeth, growling like a Kodiak.And yet this monster of a man succumbs to an early illness,Nearing fifty, your legs weakened,and dies while the narrator’s father is still a teenager. We learn later in the book that the narrator’s father also died young, and he confesses,Now at twenty-five my knees give me trouble.