Groundwood. Aug. 2022. 128p. pap. $19.99. ISBN 9781487011253.
Adult/High School–This book is divided into three distinct sections: “You are Here,” “The Dark Woods,” and “Devilskin.” In “You Are Here,” the narrator is based on Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer visiting Labrador and Newfoundland and writing poems describing the landscape and history of the area in bleak imagery with death tones. “The Dark Woods” covers trips in Europe, the Mediterranean, and the United Kingdom. From Belfast to Warsaw, these poems touch on history, political events, and tourism at various locations. “Devilskin,” the most relatable section, is the Devil roaming around Newfoundland and Labrador, and his musings on time and people. The Devil ponders his live and wonders if he really succeeded in wrecking things. Has time robbed all his victims of the memories of what happened to them? His triumph and frustration seethe throughout, making these the most engaging poems. The last poem in the book is a traveler at an airport awaiting their next flight. The tone of the book is mostly maudlin, with plenty of politics, history, and geography. Odd snippets of history might pique readers’ interest. In the beginning, the author notes the influence of Tomas Tranströmer on his work, and a couple of simple maps of Labrador and Newfoundland are integrated throughout.
VERDICT Limited appeal. An additional purchase for larger libraries.

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