Sunday, February 03, 2008

Halsey & Mac Cormack: Fit to Print


Fit to Print, Alan Halsey & Karen Mac Cormack (Coach House / West House, 1998)

A transatlantic collaboration between an English (AH) & an Anglo-Canadian (KM) poet, Fit to Print takes the newspaper – its squished columns, its typos, its sometimes hilarious juxtapositions – as formal inspiration. All great fun, particularly in tracking Halsey & Mac Cormack's thefts & plunderings from the daily repository of pathos & inanity, tho the 2-columned form in which the book is set (appropriately enough) sometimes makes my eyes wuzz. I give the edge to Halsey's contributions, if only because I find his whimsy a trifle more congenial than what sometimes seems too earnest in Mac Cormack's pages, but I respect her keen eye for the economic & political implications of the Globe & Mail's quotidian cubist epic.

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