Inspired Reading with author Mark Anthony Jarman

Here’s what’s on author and UNB professor Mark Anthony Jarman’s summer radar

Mark on the river

Douglas Glover and Robert Gibbs read recently at Molly’s Café in Fredericton, giving the festive full house a taste of two impressive new books.

Douglas Glover sampled Savage Love (Goose Lane Editions), and it was a frenetic performance, funny and anxious, sexual and driven by language. I heard Doug read stories earlier this year (he is just finishing up as UNB’s writer in residence) and I look forward to knowing the whole collection; reviews of Savage Love have been ecstatic from Toronto to Los Angeles.

Robert Gibbs read poems from his new book All Things Considered (Oberon Press) — classic work reminiscent of Frost or Yeats, citing jazz and birds, blueberries and brooding cellos; the last poem ended with a Joycean YES!

How the Gods Pour Tea (Icehouse Poetry) by Lynn Davies is another worthy book of poetry I’ve set aside for summer reading in my (sadly) non-existent hammock. Davies was a Governor General’s Award finalist in 1999 and her precise poetry is often published in The Fiddlehead and broadcast on CBC radio. Reviewer Jeanette Lynes summed up the new collection in a line from the book: “a field crackling with sound.”

I also want to look at Linda Little’s haunting novel Grist (Roseway Publishing), set in a mill in the Maritimes circa the First World War, and portraying a pragmatic but mistaken marriage to an eccentric miller — a story of betrayal and loss, but also of faith and family love.

Writer and broadcaster Robert MacNeil has a new novel, Portrait of Julia (Formac), set just after the First World War in the upheaval of postwar Europe. On the French Riviera, a beautiful war widow meets the Prince of Wales and Henri Matisse and other artists, and tries to rebuild her life while torn by the bohemian sexuality and rebellion of the Lost Generation.

Check out these exciting writers and have an inspired summer! YES!

Mark Anthony Jarman is the author of 19 Knives, My White Planet, New Orleans Is Sinking, Dancing Nightly in the Tavern and the travel book Ireland’s Eye. He currently teaches at the University of New Brunswick, where he is fiction editor of The Fiddlehead  literary journal.

WIN the books mentioned in this essay by visiting atlantic.49thshelf.com! Contest closes August 8th, 2014.

Written By

Kim Hart Macneill is a journalist and magazine editor whose work has appeared in This Magazine, Canadian Business, and East Coast Living. She divides her time between Halifax and Moncton.

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