In the Tiger Park
Coteau Books / 26 September 2014

In the Tiger Park by Alison Calder Published by Coteau Books Review by Shelley A. Leedahl $16.95 ISBN 9-781550-505764 Sometimes one reads a book and, upon completion, thinks: Hmm, I bet I could be friends with this writer. This was my sentiment after completing In the Tiger Park by Winnipeg writer and university professor Alison Calder. What I most appreciated was Calder’s original and clear-eyed view on a variety of interesting subjects, including a dead poet’s clothes; impressions of Scottsdale AZ; witnessing a bride and groom having their wedding photos taken in a cold September lake; elephants; China; the moon; the experience of blind children; and football (Calder hails from a Saskatchewan Roughrider-loving clan). We sense the poet’s perceptiveness in her very first (and second longest) poem, “Blind children at the Natural History Museum, 1913,” in which she credibly describes how the various animals and objects might feel beneath the fingers of these children. The poem “On finding P.K. Page’s old clothes” is just three stanzas long-but they contain so much! We are treated to the wonderful world “selvedges” and to the ear-pleasing “They turn to metaphor\and mites.” We see “Their pearls glimmer\in cardboard darkness,” and when the dresses tear,…