George Elliott Clarke – Review Seven Nights with the Chinese Zodiac by Anna Yin

Thank Live Encounters publishing George Elliott Clarke – Review Seven Nights with the Chinese Zodiac by Anna Yin

Anna Yin is a startling dreamer. Poems that seem Romantic veer into Surrealism or Symbolism. Tutored in Sylvia Plath and William Carlos Williams, among many other poets (mainly American and Canadian), Yin issues poems that are nightmare dreams or dreamy nightmares: Here’s a world where the natural becomes unnatural, the unnatural natural: “the police-monkey escorts a well-suited rat / followed by his cloned brothers…” Some poems are parables, such as the story of a man- a father-who refuses to leave his home, even while it and others are being reduced to rubble: “I received a copy of the photo in the local newspaper. / My father looked so small on the top of the ruins. / It was titled, ‘The Last Temple.’”
In another poem, the speaker says, “You are tired of his / molding, over and over, / thrashing, nailing / into you.” There’s a fierce feminism here, reinforced by readings of Dot Livesay and Dame Atwood. Though it’s tricky following Yin’s wicked, impressionistic juxtapositions, her painterly imagery is deliciously lustrous.
Yin is endlessly perspicacious, endlessly compelling: “The autumn gusts feel warm / as if it’s spring…. / last night by accident I cut my finger… / slowly, on the rice paper, red roses grew.” She brings to Canadian poetry a sense of classicism and aestheticism and minimalism, all nicely mixed up with sensuality.
Yin’s bravura poems – so exquisite and extraordinary – merit bravo upon bravo.

Publisher’s website:

Seven Nights with the Chinese Zodiac

The 4th Poet Laureate of Toronto (2012-15) and the 7th Parliamentary/Canadian Poet Laureate (2016-17), George Elliott Clarke is a revered artist in song, drama, fiction, screenplay, essays, and poetry. Born in Windsor, Nova Scotia, in 1960, Clarke was educated at the University of Waterloo, Dalhousie University, and Queen’s University. Clarke is also a pioneering scholar of African-Canadian literature. A professor of English at the University of Toronto, Clarke has taught at Duke, McGill, the University of British Columbia, and Harvard. He holds eight honorary doctorates, plus appointments to the Order of Nova Scotia and the Order of Canada at the rank of Officer. His recognitions include the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Fellows Prize, the Governor-General’s Award for Poetry, the National Magazine Gold Award for Poetry, the Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction, the Eric Hoffer Book Award for Poetry (US), and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award. Photo Credit of George Elliott Clarke : Harvard University.

Anna Yin was Mississauga’s Inaugural Poet Laureate (2015-2017) and has authored five collections of poetry. Her poems/translations have appeared at ARC Poetry, New York Times, China Daily, CBC Radio, World Journal etc. Anna won the 2005 Ted Plantos Memorial Award, two MARTYs, two scholarships from West Chester University Poetry Conference, three grants from OAC and 2013 Professional Achievement Award from CPAC. She performed her poetry on Parliament Hill and has been featured at 2015 Austin International Poetry Festival and 2017 National poetry month project etc. She teaches Poetry Alive at schools, colleges and libraries. Her website:

© George Elliott Clarke/Anna Yin

Online Reading for National Poetry Month from poets in Tamaracks and In A Fragile Moment

On Tuesday, April 21st, there was to be a poetry reading at the Annette Public Library.  It would have featured eight poets from both Tamaracks, published by Lummox Press, as well as In A Fragile Moment, released by Hidden Brook Press.

COVID19 cancelled the reading. However, poetry is indomitable.

We have brought the event to you in another format.  Please enjoy this collaboration, and celebrate National Poetry Month!

Eight Poets Reading as following:
James and Norma’s readings

James Deahl is the author of twenty-eight literary titles, the three most recent being: Travelling The Lost Highway, Red Haws To Light The Field, and To Be With A Woman. A cycle of his poems is the focus of the U.S. television documentary Under the Watchful Eye. He lives in Sarnia, Ontario, with the writer Norma West Linder.

Norma West Linder is the author of seven novels, fifteen poetry collections, two children’s books, a collection of short stories, a play, a memoir, and a biography of Ontario Lt. Governor Pauline McGibbon. Her selected poetry, Adder’s-tongues, was published by Aeolis House in 2012. She is the mother of two daughters and a son. Linder lives in Sarnia.

Allan Briesmaster’s Reading

A literary editor and publisher, Allan Briesmaster is the author of eight full-length books of poetry and eight shorter books. He has given readings and hosted poetry events at venues across Canada. His newest book, The Long Bond: Selected and New Poems, was published last fall by Guernica Editions.

Bruce Meyer’s Reading

Bruce Meyer is author of editor of 63 books of poetry, short fiction, flash fiction, and non-fiction. His most recent collection of poems is McLuhan’s Canary (Guernica Editions, 2019). He lives in Barrie, Ontario, and teaches at Georgian College and at Victoria College in the University of Toronto. He was the City of Barrie’s inaugural Poet Laureate from 2010 to 2014.

Keith Inman’s Reading

 Keith Inman is an internationally published poet. His books, War Poems and SEAsia (Seize-ya) from Black Moss, can be found in major libraries across North America. The craziest review he’s ever received was in Canlit #223, which compared his work to Atwood, Boyden and Itani. Keith lives in Niagara.

Patrick Connors’ Reading

Pat Connors first chapbook, Scarborough Songs, was published by Lyricalmyrical Press in 2013, and charted on the Toronto Poetry Map.  He contributed to Bottom of the Wine Jar, published by SandCrab Books in 2017.

Other publications include Blue Collar Poetry; Tamaracks; and Tending the Fire, a new chapbook by the League of Canadian Poets.   His first full manuscript is forthcoming.

Anna Yin’s Reading

Anna Yin was Mississauga’s Inaugural Poet Laureate (2015-2017) and has authored five collections of poetry. Her poems/translations have appeared at ARC Poetry, New York Times, China Daily, CBC Radio, World Journal etc.  Anna won several awards and performed her poetry on Parliament Hill and  2015 Austin International Poetry Festival etc.  Her Poetry Alive workshops are welcomed at schools.

Richard M. Grove’s Reading

Richard M. Grove lives in Presqu’ile Provincial Park, half way between Toronto and Kingston. He is the man of 7 Ps – Poet, Publisher, Photographer, Painter, President, Public Speaker, Potter. He runs Hidden Brook Press and is the founding president of the Canada Cuba Literary Alliance.