This collection, commemorating the 250th anniversary of the Halifax Common, and “inspired” by Friends of the Halifax Common, is as dynamic as its muse. With 31 contributors, including established poets, naturalists and preservationists, the result is a varied read; more of a collective than a collection.
George Elliott Clarke’s gorgeous and playful “Revery of the Commons,” in which the space is “an emerald-bright prairie” treats the “listless wildness” as a space in which he came of age; Tanya Davis’s short but stinging “Fences to Climb” wonders just how “public” the space truly is—a topic echoed in Sue Goyette’s gorgeous “Spring the Revelation of Rhododendrons.”
While truly buoyed by Halifax’s most talented poets, the collection also lends its pages to new voices. If poetry is normally a gated community, it becomes, here, a wild, green field. Including a history of the Common for context, Writing the Common is a fabulous, accessible tribute to the city.
Writing the Common: Poetry Commemorating the 250th Anniversary of the Halifax Common 1763–2013
by Andrew Steeves (editor)
$21.95, paperback, 96 pp.
Gaspereau Press, April 2013