Spirit Engine by John Donlan
Reviewed by Jenna Butler (Brick Books, February 10, 2010)
Review of Spirit Engine.
Reviewed by Christine Borsuk (Chapters.indigo.ca, 2010)
The heart in love — the heart in nature
by Bill Robertson (Saskatoon StarPhoenix, January 10, 2009)
Count on it
by Judith Fitzgerald (Globe and Mail, January 17, 2009)
Peter Richardson in Arc Poetry Magazine (April 15, 2009)
John Donlan at Tree (May 28, 2008)
Deep-felt tales of nature, a work of transformation
by Barbara Carey (Toronto Star, July 13, 2008)
John Donlan & The Dames
by Judith Fitzgerald (monstersandcritics.com, July 21, 2008)
The Last Three Poetry Books of my Year
by Lorette C. Luzajic (LiteraryAddict.wordpress.com – November 16, 2008)
“Green Man,” by Hugh Oliver (Canadian Book Review Annual, 2001)
“Under the Leaves,” by Meg Walker (Monday Magazine, 13/19 April 2000)
“Exploring Rivers, Landscapes: Outer and Inner,” by Gillian Harding-Russell (Event, Summer 2000)
“John Donlan” (Journal of Commonwealth Literature 35, 2000)
“Green Man,” by Ronnie R. Brown (Canadian Bookseller, October 1999)
“Wisdom Systems,” by Craig W. McLuckie (Canadian Literature, Summer 1995)
“Three Poets,” by Cary Fagan (The Globe and Mail, 12 February 1994)
“Probing the Human Existence,” by John Tyndall (London Free Press, 5 June 1993)
“Baysville,” by Mark Young (Scene, 15/28 July 1993)
“Signs of the Tar Baby,” by Mary Dalton (Books in Canada, December 1993)
“Windows, Not Frames,” by Jay Ruzesky (Event, Winter 1993/94)
“Domestic Economy,” by J. K. Snyder (The Antigonish Review, Summer 1991)
“In Search of the Way to Get from A to B,” by Cary Fagan (London Free Press, 28 April 1990)
“Domestic Economy,” by Mark Young (Scene, 10 May 1990)
“Domestic Economy,” by D. Parker (Fringe Benefits, July/August 1990)
“Domestic Economy,” by Chris Faiers (Canadian Book Review Annual, 1990)
John Donlan : Comments By Writers And Critics (Date unknown)
There’s a species of aesthetic poise – we might call it musical intelligence – which comes about when discipline and surprise are working, not just in combination, but each for the other. I think of John Donlan’s poems as wise acrobats, alive to the many weathers of the self but equally well-tuned to cityscape and landscape, performing athletic meditations inside a stillness they create for themselves. In Green Man we have a collection by one of our finest poets working at full stretch.
– Don McKay
Domestic Economy constitutes one of the most assured, as well as the most beautiful, depictions we have of postmodern Canada; nor is it easy to say which is the more astonishing: the easy command of everything philosophical and cultural that has gone into bringing about the postmodern or the intimacy and immediacy with which the daily facts of life in this country are brought to art. … The effect is an exhilarating release into intelligence and inclusiveness – this is a poetry whose door is always open – without surrendering any of the luminous pleasure that comes from tight formal beauty.
– J. K. Snyder, The Antigonish Review
[I]ntelligent, articulate … masterfully condensed style.
– Cary Fagan, The Globe and Mail
[S]kill with musical phrasing, line, and image.
– Mary Dalton, Books in Canada
[W]it, feeling, and linguistic acrobatics … concise, taut.
– Mark Young, Scene
Thoroughly accomplished in the exact, on-going articulate rhythms of its long lines, its syntax full to the edge with an intelligence always
breaking into surprise.
– Stephen Ratcliffe, Avenue B Press
th artikulaysyun uv layrs as midden as what is found thru succeedng layring n densitee uv being – exiting from the more mindid or wilful n narrow avenues of consciousness they detail n elaborate on th passages uv our lives … pomes uv a veree hi ordring … an artist is at work here …
– bill bissett
Like Emily Dickinson on bad acid … existential terror.
– Chris Faiers, Canadian Book Review Annual
Better than John Ashbery.
– David McFadden
[T]alented … accomplished … overtly metaphysical.
– Cary Fagan, The London Free Press
[I]mportant insights … the speaker’s voice is extremely likeable and is open and honest … food for the soul.
– Jay Ruzesky, Event
[T]hematically controlled, a real achievement … poems that merge life and place seamlessly … tightly woven and well-polished … gripping … there’s a poetic skill at work here, one that has proven itself.
– Quill and Quire