Book Reviews – December 2019

This issue includes eleven book reviews. The three new books of poetry reviewed are by Avery M. Guess, Emily K. Michael, and Jillian Weise. Three memoir reviews are shared, as well. Children’s writer Suzanne Kamata describes traveling with her daughter–who has cerebral palsy–from their home in Japan to Paris. Edna’s Gift and Falling for Myself, by Susan Rudnick and Dorothy Palmer, respectively, offer two very different discussions on growing up with disability. Andrew Rippeon’s edited collection, Letters to Jargon, examines the nuanced correspondence between Larry Eigner and Jonathan Williams, wherein they explored, among many other subjects, the relationship between poetry and life. Works by Elizabeth Wheeler and Shane Neilson connect with literary criticism. Wheeler’s Handiland examines how children’s literature reflects changing views of disability. In the spirit that the title Constructive Negativity implies, Neilson has gathered together much of his work on critiquing issues in Canadian literature generally and disability literature in particular. Two recent disability poetics and literature anthologies are also reviewed, from Nine Mile and Imaginary Safehouse.

Also relevant is Elizabeth Dahab’s “Poetics of Madness and Alienation in a Francophone Canadian Novel” in this issue’s Essays section.

As Wordgathering has grown, it is increasingly indebted to those who offer their skills as book reviewers. In this issue they are Ona Gritz, Stephen Kuusisto, Jennifer Lewis Luck, Christine Stewart-Nuñez, Liz Whiteacre, and Diane R. Wiener. Writers who would like to review books for or have books reviewed by Wordgathering should send queries to Please refer to our Submission Guidelines for more information.