The 50 Issues Project
Issue #144

Issue Date: Fall, 2003
Editor: Marlene Cookshaw and Lorna Jackson
Pages: 120
Number of contributors: 24

Buy Issue 144: Print Edition

Cover of issue #144

Issue 144 is dedicated to the art of reviewing, and several notable authors, including  Annabel Lyon, Fred Stenson, Robert Bringhurst, Lynne Van Luven, John Lent, Jan Zwicky and Hilary Mantel, speak to the type of review they want to see published in literary journals, the kind they find most useful.  When Lyon admits writing a negative review in her early years she says: “I was young, I was clever, and I was showing off.” Van Luven argues that “a good review is a conduit between three minds,” and in order for this conduit to work properly the reviewer must keep her/his ego on a short leash—the review must be about the work being reviewed, not how diligently it can be attacked. Lent argues that reviewers need to drop social constraints, didactic scholarly posturing, and have confidence to dive in and really “discuss” a work with vigour and passion. Stenson admits, with a shrug, that he’d rather have a negative review than none at all. And Kevin McNeilly reminds us the act of reviewing is, for the most part, the act of listening.

Get the Reviewing issue and read the arguments for yourself.

—Vanessa Herman

About the 50 Issues Project

Have a look at our last featured issue, issue #142
Have a look at our next featured issue, issue #151