________________ CM . . . . Volume VI Number 21 . . . . June 23, 2000

cover Siolence: Poets on Women, Violence and Silence.

Susan McMaster, ed. Art work by Marie Elyse St. George & Heather Spears.
Kingston, ON: Quarry Press, 1998.
109 pp., pbk., $18.95.
ISBN 1-55082-158-X.

Subject Headings:
Canadian literature-20th century.
Abused women-Literary collection.
Feminism and literature-Canada.

Grades 11 and up / Ages 16 and up.
Review by Terry Vatrt.

**** /4

Siolence: Poets on Women, Violence and Silence is a collection of essays and poems by various members of the Feminist Caucus of the League of Canadian Poets. The contents originated in several years of presentations, readings and discussions held at the League's annual meetings. The texts were gathered into a trilogy of chapbooks, "The Living Archives" series. Siolence is the first of three books, to be published by Quarry Women's Books, that record and organize the wealth of ideas and words springing from the gathering of some of Canada's best poets.

On a concrete level, the book is very appealing. It is user-friendly: well organized in a simple, clear, and attractive package. The book is divided into fourteen sections, each devoted to a different poet. One of the most striking features of the book is the graphite sketch of each writer, contributed by the award-winning writer, Heather Spears. A brief biography of each contributor is printed alongside the sketches. An essay and poem by each writer completes the section.

The essays discussing peace/violence and silence [-siolence] range from philosophical to practical in nature. They are well informed, insightful and thought provoking. Several cite other resources. The poems are wonderful; they beautifully and strikingly illuminate the ideas presented in the essays.

I highly recommend this book to teachers, teacher-librarians and resource professionals. Obviously, it would be a worthy addition to any Women's Studies classes. As well, it would be an invaluable resource in any class or group dealing with peace/conflict resolutions issues.

Finally, Siolence is a "must-have" resource for any Canadian Literature course, as well as any poetry class. It provides a brief, intense introduction to excellent contemporary Canadian poetry in an attractive, easily accessible format.

Highly Recommended.

Terry Vatrt, who taught Grade K-12 during an unorthodox teaching career, is a member of the Board of Directors for the Winnipeg International Writers Festival.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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ISSN 1201-9364