Home > Posts tagged Billeh Nickerson

PRISM 52:2 LOVE & SEX 2014

522storePRISM 52:2 LOVE & SEX launches just in time for Valentine’s Day and beyond with sensuous, salacious tales of love and lust to warm those cold winter nights. Pick up an issue now and keep us on your nightstand for a little literary pillow talk. Here’s a taste of each piece to get your mouth watering:

Bev Craddock’s short story “The Bodies in the Lake” explores the meaning and limitations of friendship through a series of sharp, poignant vignettes.

Patrick Grace’s “Layover” navigates that delicate mix of eros and pathos intrinsic in chance encounters and discovers in the process that love and loss are perhaps inextricably linked.

Jessica Saunders’ quiet, contemplative epistle, “Kananaskis (Can I Ask This?),” explores the bittersweet aftereffects of physical passion and the void that remains when “nothing of me is left in you / not even a knuckle / not even a request that I might still withdraw.”

In Karen J Lee’s memoir “Happy Hour,” the author processes the sudden dissolution of her decades-long marriage at a remote cabin on one of BC’s gulf islands.

In “My Montreal Vagina,” “Petrified,” and “Red Mailboxes,” Billeh Nickerson highlights the humour and melancholy intrinsic in human relationships, walking us through doctors’ offices, lonely hotel rooms, and empty streets. Continue reading PRISM 52:2 LOVE & SEX 2014

Review: Billeh Nickerson’s “Impact: The Titanic Poems”

Impact CoverImpact: The Titanic Poems, by Billeh Nickerson
Arsenal Pulp Press (2012)

Reviewed by Zachary Matteson

I came to Billeh Nickerson’s book Impact: the Titanic Poems for the promise of thematic cohesion, but I stayed for the quick pacing and articulate simplicity. These are not arduous, dense lyrics, but crystalline, plainspoken poems intent on excavating bits of human truth. Published on the hundred-year anniversary of the Titanic’s fateful collision, Impact artfully reconstructs the broad cross-section of class, culture, and circumstance that characterized the Modernist Age, from economic hardships to technological wonders.

Nickerson thrives on jagged edges: the laundry lists, the inventories, unafraid to lay his lines long or short to suit a certain sentiment—a word I use here, in the best sense, as refined feelings. Indeed, Nickerson feels his way, line by line, character after character, groping toward the common nature of shared trauma. And he comes to some stark, at times comical, conclusions. Take, for instance, the poem “Ten Minutes Fast,” which muses on the timepiece of an unnamed passenger, who’d “always prided himself on being timely, / set his pocket watch ten minutes fast, / a trait the men in his family shared.” Nickerson aptly weaves humor and irony with a deep empathy for human quirkiness, noting that when the man’s body was found, even “the embalmer pondered how / he’d cheated the ocean of those precious minutes… / then, in an indignity specific to his family, / the embalmer declared he’d arrived late.” In many ways, this poem is a model for Nickerson’s scope of character throughout the collection, which seeks to navigate and interlace the ship’s impact on the departed, the survivors, the history hunters, and finally, the readers.

Continue reading Review: Billeh Nickerson’s “Impact: The Titanic Poems”