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Gary Hyland
Saskatoon (Sask.), Thistledown Press, 1991, 80pp, paper, $11.00
ISBN 0-920633-88-9. CIP

Grades 10 and up/Ages 15 and up

Reviewed by Alan Thomas.

Volume 20 Number 2
1992 March

Gary Hyland has shown himself determined to make literature out of the common experience and has been one of a group of Saskatchewan writers who have been persistently active in estab­lishing publishing outlets and produc­ing and editing anthologies of prairie writing.

After Atlantis, his fifth book of poetry, takes its title from a small group of poems in this collection that explore water fantasies, including a set of oceanic whale songs about humans. They appear to be an exception and a departure for Hyland from his usual subject area, which is nevertheless well represented hero in poems grounded in the tough, dusty world of North American man, the world of truck drivers and boxing contenders, and forty-year-old divorced male "scruff-buckets," all suffering and hoping and producing feelings for Hyland to exploit.

Non-fantasists will find these well-executed realist poems contain more genuine interest than the musings of the whales. It is not surprising to find among them a little poem in homage to Raymond Carver, the American story­teller of ordinary life on the great continent.

Alan Thomas, University of Toronto, Toronto,Ont.
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