Tag Archives: Word on the Street 2016

Simple Concepts Creating Deep Thoughts | Review of “The Hobo’s Crowbar” Written by JonArno Lawson/Woodcuts by Alec Dempster (2016) The Porcupine’s Quill

I purchased a copy of this book at the 2016 Toronto Word On The Street Festival

Hobo

We all engage in some sort of wordplay in our everyday lives. But when words are put into an order to cause us to ponder for a moment, that is a real treat for our minds. And if those words are accompanied by gifted illustrations, then our minds are truly enlightened. And if that complete book is published in a dedicated and well-crafted manner, then it is a truly gifted read. That is exactly what JonArno Lawson and Alec Dempster have done with The Hobo’s Crowbar, published by The Porcupine’s Quill.

There’s Something Almost Real – Page 32

There’s something almost real

In everything that’s fake

Like some banana peel

That startles you awake

It gets beneath your heel

You slip out of your trance

And fall and crack your head

On stones meant for your feet

And if you crawl away enlightened

Then your journey is complete.

It is no secret that I have been waiting for this book. Lawson is an award-winning writer whose skill in taking even a few words and putting them in an order which creates a thought or an emotion in a reader’s mind. And that is exactly what he has done with this book. The phrases are simple yet the thoughts he creates are complex. Definitely a treasure to read.

Page 71

Up And Down

At first sight

I truly loved you

Later

I wasn’t so sure

I was good enough for you.

(I was good enough for you.

I wasn’t so sure

Later

I truly loved you

A first sight.)

Either Way, Again

Noah

Saved

The animals

On the ark-

Noah

Fed

The animals

Fed

Noah

On the ark-

The animals

Saved

Noah.

The woodcuts that Alec Dempster has created for this book are detailed yet with simple lines. They greatly enhance the words of the book yet still allow the reader a great way of leeway to allow their own mind to imagine a scene.

page62.jpg
Scanned image from Page 62 of The Hobo’s Crowbar. Woodcut by Alec Dempster.

There is a strength in the images that Dempster has here. Perhaps because they are woodcuts they seem to command a certain level of attention from a reader. They are intense and thought-provoking and accompany the words of the book well.

 

importantnews
Scanned image of Pages 46-47 of The Hobo’s Crowbar. Woodcut (Left) by Alec Dempster and Important News (Right) by JonArno Lawson.

 The Hobo’s Crowbar, written by JonArno Lawson and illustrated with woodcuts by Alec Dempster is a mind-engaging book. It is simple in its details but complex in its actions and deeds. A great read.

*****

Link to The Porcupine’s Quill webpage for The Hobo’s Crowbar

Link to JonArno Lawson’s blog – The Bottom of the Box

Link to my Q&A with JonArno Lawson-“The Hobo’s Crowbar was written in the way some of my other collections of poems have been written – mostly emerging out of sound ideas or just ideas that I jot down in my notebook as I think of them”

Link to Alec Dempster’s website

Link to my Q&A with Alec Dempster – “The book form is well suited to the black and white images I create whether it be linoleum prints, woodblock prints or paper cuts”

‘Drawing’ Youth into Caring about the Ecosystem | Review of “You Are The Earth” (2010) by David Suzuki and Kathy Vanderlinden/Art by Wallace Edwards – Greystone Books

I am constantly asked by people for my opinions on books for the younger set. The question usually brings a sense of dread to me. Not that there isn’t a shortage of books I think younger readers would enjoy, but the opposite is the case. There is such great collection of books out there that have such great details that mentioning  why every young reader should be encouraged to read them would be quite a chore. So as the Autumn 2016 literary festivals begin to gear up, I plan to explore some of the participants online, check out there works that are accessible to me via my local library and mention the books here I like. Hopefully I will be able to network with writers, artists, illustrators and publishers further by discussing their works here.

One such way to grab the attention of any reader – let alone a younger reader – is to have great artwork to help a reader better understand a complex issue. While the words to a story may be important, art helps to move the narrative to build a better understanding of an issue in the mind’s eye. The more detailed and realistic the artwork, the better the story flows. And that is what Wallace Edwards has done with his artwork in You Are The Earth.

9781553654766

 As one can see by the image of the cover of the book, Edwards has a realistic style to his work. It is almost like the beings that he draws are about to bounce off the page.  Every line is fine and precise, giving detail to the image. No doubt readers of all ages will be engaged by Edwards’ artwork alone.

This is a unique book. The thoughts in it are profound and enlightening yet written in a simple style for young readers to grasp. But the images really punch the narrative through, giving the book that edge that makes the work come alive.

You Are The Earth is a great book for enlightening young minds about ecology. The artwork by Wallace Edwards is detailed and realistic which draws readers of any age into the book. This is a read well worth pondering over.

*****

Wallace Edwards will be participating at the 2016 Toronto Word on the Street Festival (Link)

Link to Wallace Edwards website

Link to Greystone Books webpage for You Are the Earth

Link to the David Suzuki Foundation’s page for You Are The Earth