An excellent review of the excellent ILK.


-Reviewed byJohn McGhee

The Canadian experimental poet Christian Bök, in his ‘fantasy about the badass-ness of poetry’ The Extremophile, likens poetry to an indestructible bacterium: ‘It feeds on asbestos… It grows in lagoons of boiling asphalt…  It can withstand temperatures of 323 degrees Kelvin, hot enough to melt rubidium… It is invincible.  It is unkillable.’

I’m with Bök.  Let’s have poetry that is indestructible, brilliant, and bold.

The excellent launch issue of ILK, an online journal edited by Caroline Crew and Chris Emslie, has just the right kind of boldness.  In its best moments, there is inventive imagery and language and structural playfulness.  The tone is one of convivial brashness.  In the main, the poems are punchy, and the poets’ concerns are urgent, personal and contemporary.

Much of what is lively and mysterious in ILK is generated using relaxed, unadorned language.  Amy Herschleb provides the disgustingly…

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