Poetryworld, Louis Cabri

2010, CUE, North Vancouver BC

$15, 978-0-9810122-9-2, 120 pages

reviewed by rob mclennan


Originally from Ottawa, poet Louis Cabri attended Carleton University alongside Rob Manery and Christian Bök. With the encouragement of TISH poet and Carleton professor Robert Hogg, Cabri and Manery organized readings and events such as the Transparency Machine at N400 Reading Series throughout the late 1980s and early 90s, and published both hole magazine and hole books before heading off to Philadelphia, where he curated the poets’ talk series, Phillytalks, before ending up in Windsor, where he currently teaches at the University of Windsor. Poetryworld (North Vancouver BC: CUE, 2010) is Cabri’s second trade poetry collection, after The Mood Embosser (Toronto ON: Coach House Books, 2001), and his poetry has long been influenced by the language and social commentary elements of Vancouver’s Kootenay School of Writing, and writers such as Roger Farr and Jeff Derksen. Cabri’s writing is concerned with the minutae of language in ways that no one else comes close, writing smaller than shorthand, citing references sly and sharp, and as slippery as solid. Nearly a pointillist approach, Cabri’s texts become so small that they encompass quite a large canvas, from the expansive gesture to the small twist, writing “champ ions on / in onions” (“Vennezia”). As Meredith Quartermain once suggested of some of the language poets, how they often forget that words can’t help but mean, Cabri instead utilizes that meaning, using those meanings as springboards, turning and twisting those meanings, and producing something larger than the words themselves. This is language poetry in its smallest measure, writing not only how the world reacts to language but how it is represented by and has shaped that same language.


An Alphabet of Canada’s

Changing Role in Global

Supply Chains of Syllables



Briber Dorbaanda



New Edri


Northka Swicklumbiries



Prince Nito Ritor













Born in Ottawa, Canada’s glorious capital city, rob mclennan currently lives in Ottawa. The author of more than twenty trade books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, he won the John Newlove Poetry Award in 2011, and his most recent titles are the poetry collections Songs for little sleep, (Obvious Epiphanies, 2012), grief notes: (BlazeVOX [books], 2012), A (short) history of l. (BuschekBooks, 2011), Glengarry (Talonbooks, 2011) and kate street (Moira, 2011), and a second novel, missing persons (2009). An editor and publisher, he runs above/ground press, Chaudiere Books (with Jennifer Mulligan), The Garneau Review (ottawater.com/garneaureview), seventeen seconds: a journal of poetry and poetics (ottawater.com/seventeenseconds) and the Ottawa poetry pdf annual ottawater (ottawater.com). He spent the 2007-8 academic year in Edmonton as writer-in-residence at the University of Alberta, and regularly posts reviews, essays, interviews and other notices at robmclennan.blogspot.com