Canadian Poetry Online top banner link to Canadian Poetry Online home page link to University of Toronto Libraries home page

Joe Blades : Comments by Writers and Critics


  • "I'd give River Suite the proverbial two thumbs up ... marks the continued maturation of an up-and-coming force in contemporary Canadian poetry." — Broken Pencil

  • "One of the few poets writing in Canada today whose work will last and say something to generations to come. He creates strong magic and what should poetry be but strong magic." — Poemata

  • "His poetry demands flexibility: his images change quickly, swirl into rays of light, spin on top of water. His keen eye for detail takes readers with him on his journey". — Prairie Fire

  • "Fredericton's avant-garde poet and the region's most daring published." —George Elliott Clarke, Halifax Sunday Herald

  • "Joe Blades [is] a seasoned vet of the East Coast poetry set .... [River Suite] sifts through the devastation of cultural values in a playful and skilfully inventive four-part movement containing much to admire ... readers will find themselves wholly immersed in River Suite's shattered world".—Judith Fitzgerald, The Toronto Star.

  • "Emotional immediacy and clear evocation of place ... [Blades] observes the various conundrums of humans in their world with closeness and care ... images and tight turns of phrase surprise and delight." —Sue Wheeler (blurb on Open 24 Hours)

  • "Something of an enimga on the CanLit scene, Joe has turned himself into the Howard Hughes of NB letters . . . doing nothing more (and certainly nothing less) than making beautiful poems and clever books to keep them in." —R.M. Vaughan, The Cormorant

  • "Short, sharp sound bites . . . neat little poetry collection . . . Joe Blades is the author, and he definitely has an irreverent style, leaning heavily on weird segues and candour . . . considering he wrote these on an actual typewriter, Casemate Poems should be considered a victory for proponents of the anti-tech, if nothing else." —Broken Pencil, No. 27

  • "Blades' poetry is written by activating different layers of human knowledge and by articulation of this knowledge, for example, in narrations of history and geography. He moves in time (historical perspective) and in space (for example, actual events in the world at the time, such as the attack on the World Trade Center, or pointing to the contemporary racist attitudes of specific countercultures). Poetry is not a separate sacred sphere (although this point of view is not negated), but a sphere where it is possible to articulate a critical approach to the past and contemporaneity. I would like to mention the consciousness of contemporary multicultural world, and of its tendency to acknowledge the significance of marginalized cultures. Blades' poetry participates in the construction of social everyday activities . . ." —Dubravka Đurić, "O ovoj knjizi," from Pesme iz kazamata (Beograd: Rad, 2005)

    Joe Blades' works copyright © to the author.

  • Canadian Poetry Online bottom banner link to University of Toronto Libraries home page link to Digital Collections home page link to University of Toronto Library catalogue link to Canadian Poetry Online home page link to University of Toronto Libraries home page