Review of Burnt River, Kate Sorbara

Last month I attended Quatro Books’ Toronto WordStage at QSpace. My friend Lisa Young hosted it. Usually when I attend readings, it is the fiction that catches my ear; that night though it was an amazing collection of poetry called Burnt River by Kata Sorbara.

I arrived late, and found a seat far from the stage. I was still thinking about my streetcar ride down Bathurst while the first reader finished. When Kate started reading her direct verse penetrated my distracted mind. I suddenly could do nothing but listen to her poetry that uses emotional descriptions of nature as starting points to review and contemplate life. Kate’s poetry combines vivid imagery of leaves falling, a river flowing or snow drifts blowing and piercing human emotion that is at the centre of all our lives.


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