I've been reading Zachariah Wells recent book of reviews and essays titled Career Limiting Moves and enjoying it immensely. As with Carmine Starnino's Lazy Bastardism, another collection of reviews and essay on Can. Lit., I find myself eagerly reading it, going from one piece to the next to see what he'll say next. Because Wells' evaluations of Canadian poets and poetry are so bracing and at times critical, I find myself quite curious to hear more of his thoughts.
Does that mean I agree with him? Sometimes, yes. Often, no. Don McKay's poetry gets a bit of a drubbing in Career Limiting Moves--an undeserved drubbing, I think. But books like Wells', like Starnino's, do some real good in Can. Lit. circles because they remind us that the die is not cast, the canon is potentially shifting. They remind us that debates about aesthetics and poetics are worth having. They remind us that we ought to employ rigorous reading, rigorous discussion and a keen critical eye toward the literature presented to us.
Best of all, when I read books like Wells', I'm reminded that Can. Lit. matters.
For more about Wells, visit his blog: http://zachariahwells.blogspot.ca/
Please see my interview with Wells at the Humber Literary Review's webpage: