Raising Grandkids
University of Regina Press / 9 February 2019

Raising Grandkidsby Gary GarrisonPublished by University of Regina PressReviewed by Madonna Hamel $19.95 ISBN 9780889775541 Last week buying groceries, I asked the cashier how her day was going. “Well, I’ve got to rush back to be with the little ones, my son’s back in rehab and my daughter, who knows where she is.” I told her she sounded like one of the superhero grandparents in book I’m reading called Raising Grandkids. “I had no idea how many of you there were!” “Yes, there seems to be more of us. We are picking up after a lost generation”. Gary Garrison, author of Raising Grandkids, is part of a cultural phenomenon new to most North Americans– grandparents raising babies, toddlers and teenagers. He is raising a grand-daughter when one normally retires or enters a retirement home. Not the natural course of events. But the number of young people who “can’t or won’t raise their own children due to addiction, poverty, poor health” and even death is rising and more and more grandparents are stepping in to raise traumatized grandchildren with problems of their own, including fetal infant alcohol syndrome. Garrison takes us through the tangled web of bureaucracy that several grandparents, who…

After the Words
Hagios Press / 6 October 2010

After the Words by Jennifer Londry Published by Hagios Press Review by Shelley A. Leedahl $17.95 ISBN 978-1-992671-00-3 Jennifer Londry’s handsome new poetry collection, After The Words, feels like a play consisting of vignettes, and readers are given much room for their own imagining. The setting is a care home, where the occupants – including the poet’s Alzheimer’s-afflicted mother – wander the halls, their voices and faculties fading in and out. Can poetry be made of this terrain? Of course. And it’s important that it is. Londry, a Kingston, Ontario writer, has been busy. She published her first book of poetry – with the provocative title Life and Death in Cheap Motels – just last year. She was also busy keeping company with her ailing mother, and thus spent much time at “Providence Manor,” experiencing firsthand the decline of that woman and others plagued with dementia. But who was this woman in the years before she became ill? In “Lost Letters,” Londry eloquently writes: “A good daughter, read all of her letters\pieced together the torn edges the frayed\details\of what happened between watermarks\and age spots.” This type of poetry is a kind of therapy: hard to write, easy to relate to….