May 5, 2023

Critical writing “for” artists not “about” them

While criticism often carries the weight of having to be (or trying to be) right, Critical Fictions tries only to be with.

By Emily Doucet

The Brooklyn Rail, May 2023

Hannah Godfrey’s Critical Fictions circles the work of five artists. Derek Dunlop, Kristin Nelson, Hagere Selam shimby Zegeye-Gebrehiwot, Andrea Oliver Roberts, and Logan MacDonald, are all, as Godfrey points out, queer Canadian artists working with abstraction and the body, critiquing hegemonic power structures “with wit and pathos.” The book is composed of discrete groupings of critical essays, poems, and stories “for” each artist rather than “about” them. This distinction between prepositions is central to the amalgam “critical fictions” offered in the book’s title. Godfrey’s critical texts are imprints of her relationships with the artists and artworks that pepper the author’s fictions, evidence of exchange rather than pure exposition. By writing against the erasure of thinking alongside, Godfrey positions the artist as a narrative accomplice. [Read the review.]

April 18, 2023

A funnier apocalypse: Permanent Carnival Time

Permanent Carnival Time is the best book of poetry I’ve read over the last few years. I mean it. It’s really excellent.

By Ryan Fitzpatrick

The Capilano Review, April 17, 2023

When TCR floated the idea that I write a review that would come out alongside their “Bad Feelings” issue, I told them I wasn’t writing reviews, ironically because of some bad feelings I was having. After some arm-twisting, I said I would only write a review of something that I cared about. I needed an antidote to all the bad feelings I was feeling about reviewing. So, I decided to review Winnipeg poet Colin Smith’s recent book Permanent Carnival Time, which is the best book of poetry I’ve read over the last few years. I mean it. It’s really excellent. But it’s also appropriate for TCR right now because Permanent Carnival Time, despite its fun time of a title, is obsessed with bad feelings. Bad feelings saturate this book, but we’ll get to that.  [Read the review.]


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