Hagios Press / 20 January 2015

Rove by Laurie D Graham Published by Hagios Press Review by Shelley A. Leedahl $17.95 ISBN 978-192671023-5 I usually open a poetry collection expecting that the first few pages will provide a reasonably good sense of the author’s style and subject matter. In the opening pages of Rove, by London ON poet Laurie D Graham, I correctly gleaned that this writer would address a veritable smorgasbord of issues: political, environmental, First Peoples’, agricultural, poverty, health, and urban vs. rural. I also learned that this rapid-fire poet writes mostly in couplets, she often begins her lines with imperatives (“Say fluorescent lightbulbs will save\the earth, say there’s a heart” and “See the branches of the suburbs blossom wild with bungalows”), and that hers is indeed a distinct new voice on the CanLit scene. Further into the book I realized that she also weaves in personal family history, and that I was often surprised and delighted by the myriad twists and turns this daring writer takes. Rove is a long poem that reads partly like a rant, (“say the numbers, tell the Wheat Board where to go, say it fast like an auction and move to the city, say minimum wage and grunt…