New review of ‘Sharps,’ by Richard Greene

Really happy to be alerted to this new review of my book by the esteemed poet & professor Richard Greene, in the latest issue of University of Toronto Quarterly — reviews are always great but are especially sweet some time after the book has been out:

Stevie Howell is a poet of unusual intensity, and at her best she writes about terrible things in a manner that is wholly convincing. A Toronto poet, she has published widely and been nominated for several prizes. Her collection, ^^^^^^ ^^^^^^ ^^^^^^ [Sharps] (Icehouse Poetry), has been very well received, and rightly so. My slight hesitation about this book is the overabundance of references to popular culture: this is the done thing in the contemporary poetry scene, but very quickly these references become non-functional and somewhat self-congratulatory. Nonetheless, Howell is a poet of very real powers. In ‘‘A Gospel’’ she writes of a first-communion photograph, then of the persona’s loss of faith, her search for something believable among the Hare Krishna and other groups, letting


the Bahai indoctrinate me on Bloor one afternoon,
where they fed me channa in a muralized Olive Garden
basement. I left with a cassette
and a mental image of a savior cresting a hill
with a hankering for garlic bread.
My school and church were poverty and violence. A quadriplegic
classmate lived in a Winnebago. Her mother’s ex
cowered in a laundry hamper with a gun and shot her dead
one Sunday after Mass. That’s all I know.




I wrote this chapbook called Summer, & it’s coming out shortly — the launch is October 27, 2016 (Facebook invite here). It’s a bit about what’s called, in psychology, being off “the social schedule,” so the temporal un-syncedness is so wrong it feels right. The publisher, Desert Pets Press, created a gorgeous design that I’ll keep a surprise till the launch. This picture, above, happens to be my favourite photo ever, and is somewhat apt. I don’t want to say TOO much so I’ll just post the epigraphs: 

“A young man is afraid of his demon and puts his hand
over the demon’s mouth sometimes and speaks for him.
And the things the young man says are very rarely poetry.”
— D. H. Lawrence


“They think they are happy because they are not moving.”
— Tristan Bernard


p.s. …& listen to the playlist.


So It Goes (Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library journal, 2015)


The Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library Journal annual anthology, So It Goes, released November 2015, features my poem, “Ballad of Blood Hotel.”

Vonnegut Library





The Best Canadian Poetry 2015


The Best Canadian Poetry 2015 anthology, released October 2015, features my poem, “Ballad of Blood Hotel.”





The Best Canadian Poetry 2014


The Best Canadian Poetry 2014 features my poem, “Airporter Driver, Ex-European Tour Guide, Through Canmore Says.” 





Montreal Poetry Prize Global Anthology 2013

MTLPP-Cover-663x1024-copyThis anthology features my Montreal International Poetry Prize long-listed poem, “The Guard.”


Summer (Desert Pets Press, 2016)

summer-cover“Stevie Howell’s new chapbook, Summer, explores the hazy summers of youth, where it is possible to slip free from the strict ‘time-bound’ world of high school & family & to try on, & perhaps reject, new identities. Through bike rides, séances, beach fires & ‘scrubbing a urinal at Arby’s,’ the speaker gains insight & self-awareness, slowly, fitfully transitioning from childhood to adulthood.”

~ 40 pages. 100 copies. ~
Available in Toronto at Type Books (on Queen) & Knife Fork Book (in Kensington Market). Available everywhere via the Desert Pets Press store on Etsy.