Kristyn DunnionBiblioasis, 2020299 pagesISBN 9781771963862$18.95 (ebook)Reviewed by Danielle Minnis Stoop City collects 13 wistful vignettes about the lives of some of the most unfortunate, vulnerable, and abused people in modern-day Toronto. There, people of every age, ethnicity, sexual identity, and socioeconomic status, struggle to cope. In the introductory story, “Now Is the Time to Light Fires” an unnamed narrator mourns the death of her girlfriend, Marzana, only to be informed of her infidelity when her ghost starts haunting their condo. “Fits Ritual” follows a homeless youth struggling with addiction, as he grows increasingly more concerned when his friend and partner, Roam, does not return from their latest scam. “Tracker &…


    TreeTalk creates a second canopy for the boulevard elm, re-foliated with poetic paper leaves and tied with string instead of caterpillar silk.


    [Book Review] Hana Shafi makes it very clear in the introduction of Small, Broken, and Kind of Dirty: Affirmations for the Real World that this is NOT a self-help book. It has evolved from her very popular Instagram series where Shafi is known as Frizz Kid to over 42,000 followers. There she delves into sexism, racism, and body politics as she does in these short essays divided into five chapters: “On Kindness,” “On Bodies,” “On Politics,” “On Self-Love and Healing,” and “On Resilience and Mental Health.”


    [Book Review] Any great memoir offers the reader immersion; the author researches his material by living it. It also has a protagonist with whom the reader can identify, not to mention suspense, urgency, and dramatic conflict. Heighton’s visceral and sensory scenes and authentic emotions build tension and rightly earn him CBC’s Best Non-Fiction Book of 2020, and a finalist position for the 2020 Writers Trust Prize for Non-Fiction.


    Joseph A. DandurandGuernica Editions, 2020127 pagesISBN: 978-1-77183-506-0$20.00Reviewed by Kashmir Lesnick-Petrovicz “Over time you begin to understand/who you are and why you are here” (111) I Will Be Corrupted is a fictional tale of a Kwantlen man living on Vancouver’s downtown east side who is both healer and heroin addict. Dandurand’s collection explores the painful battle of a life defined by addiction and mental health struggles, love and loss, trauma and Indigenous tradition, and forgiveness and eventual redemption. I Will Be Corrupted includes 57 relatable, raw, and heart-wrenchingly honest poems that play with fragments, unusual structure, and illusions so that each page is a new day unknown until we live it.…


    Laid out in 12 chapters, Anne Bokma’s My Year of Living Spiritually is an inspirational calendar for the secular set. Let the pages fall open randomly in November to be reminded to practice gratefulness. Hum a tune when you land on Ella Fitzgerald’s quote, “The only thing better than singing, is more singing” (Bokma devotes the entire month of June to finding her voice). Bokma makes her way through 20+ non-religious practices and activities to inspire a more meaningful life. For the millions of Canadians who consider themselves spiritual but not religious (SBNR) this is literary soup for the soul