Review of Slide
“Slide is a compelling book for many reasons,from its range and depth, to its inventive sensibilities and generosity of vision. Barbara Myers' poems carry with them both an urgency and serenity on their journey to lyrical eloquence. The intensely crafted beauty of this work illuminates and makes more brilliant the already shimmering answer to what it means to be human. Our lives are made richer because these poems exist, because their elegance and strength becomes part of us.”
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“It is said that good things are worth waiting for, and it's poetry collections like Slide, a first book from Ottawa writer Barbara Myers, that prove the adage true. A longtime writer (Myers has been a journalist, a government writer/researcher, as well as an associate editor for ARC magazine), it is Myer's poetry, which has been widely published in journals, chapbooks, and anthologies (garnering its share of literary prizes along the way), which has more recently come to the fore. But, even without this impressive list of credits, Slide is a genuine "good thing"--a collection filled with well-crafted, well-honed poems written by a thoughtful and mature poet.
Myer's images are unique and sparking. Even a subject as well-worn as Marilyn monroe appears on the page "in full colour/arcs of blue red green radiance/ a rainbow blooming from a raindrop's/ reflected light."
As well, Slide successfully takes on a variety of styles--lyrics, imagist pieces, even formal verse--but it is in poems such as "Silver Cross Mother at the War Memorial on Remembrance Day," that Myers truly excels. Assuming the voice of the mother, a job that would be impossible for a less talented, less mature poet, Myers ends this poem with the lines "Don't say we're brave/say we grieve, say we sorrow,/say our sons were taken from us/and that every day we live/we wish it wasn't so." Strong words from a strong and ambitious first book that will take your breath away over and over again.”