Book details

Publication date: February 2010
Series: cuRRents
Keywords: Poetry / Canadian Literature
Subject(s): POETRY / Canadian, Creative Writing, Creative Writing / Poetry, Poetry / Canadian Literature, Poetry / Canadian Literature, Literature, Poetry
Publisher(s): The University of Alberta Press

rob mclennan. rob mclennan's indefatigable literary passion and acumen can be seen in his countless works of poetry, fiction, reviews, essays--in print and online--as well as his work as publisher and literary impresario. rob lives in Ottawa.

"Arguably his generation's finest practitioner, mclennan's myriad strengths predominantly lie in his life-long quest to stay afloat in language's slippery straits, its treacherous depths, its perilously heady spindrifts where polyphony's the aim and compression's the game. New readers step into the flux, the flow, the undertow of a mclennan 'poem' in much the same way landlubbers brave an ocean's waves on a wing and a prayer: Half the challenge involves conquering each cresting onslaught, the other half resides in coming safe home to common ground (buttressed by the notion the captain's skill knows no bounds)." Judith Fitzgerald, The Globe and Mail, May 12, 2010

"[wild horses is] an exercise in understanding a new place stripped of verbose, technicolour depiction. Like the titular 'wild horses' these poems explore the difficulty of wrangling words to convey the sense of things." Mike Landry, Telegraph-Journal, February 27, 2010

"Rob's frenetic energy expresses itself in continous creative reinvention and this recent collection is no exception. A cautionary note to the reader, do not allow the lower-case font and economies of scale deceive you." Anne Burke, Prairie Review, Spring 2010

"Mclennan is a poet of place, always finding his voice out of the material of his surroundings, the continuity of its existence through history.... By filtering the personal through the richness of history, mclennan elevates both, extending 'a sprinkling' of himself into the solid, unchanging strata of history and the literary heritage of a place while making the 'really interesting parts personal.'... He writes in terse 'clipped lines' as he calls them, usually trying to bind each thought to a single line rather than 'cut it in half and stagger it onto the next line.' The effect is one of solemnity; each line seems to exist as a small image, a small whole with its own completeness that adds to the mystery of the rest." Jeremy Mesiano-Crookston, Ottawa Xpress, September 2010 [Full review at]

"Spicer's theories offer a second way into mclennan's poems for the partially initiated, since he posits an irreconcilable rift between the poet and poem. The poem is, essentially, foreign territory to the poet, and is placed into his or her comprehension only through the dictation of an intermediary. The poet is never on home-turf with the poem. Significantly, the central theme in mclennan's collection is exile, as it is the product of his stint as writer-in-residence at the University of Alberta.... What develops throughout the first half of the collection is a sense of the melancholy and mundanity of exile." Ryan Porter, The Bull Calf, accessed May 9, 2011 [Full review at]

"...the presence of landscape in the text is palpable...the most 'natural' of these poems are urban meditations drawing as much on the bars and streets as the rivers and birds. It is apt that the fleshy, veined earth is echoed in the ecological paper this volume is printed on, framing a tactile engagement with language and place." Will Smith, University of Nottingham, British Journal of Canadian Studies Vol.25 No.1 2012

Ottawa Xpress: Best of Ottawa - Best work of fiction/non-fiction/poetry by local writer

The Alcuin Society Citations for Excellence in Book Design in Canada - Poetry, Honourable Mention

ISBNs: 9780888645357 978-0-88864-535-7 Title: wild horses