Massacre Street, Paul Zits



Perfect Friday night: tea, musty candles, Christmas cookies, and books of poetry. Later, I might read a mystery novel. We’ll see. I’m going to share a few of my thoughts on this, but I need to rush out the door because one of my favourite people is in town and hanging out with her is another idea of a perfect Friday night.

How much do you know about the Frog Lake Massacre? If the answer to that is, “the Frog Lake what now?”, you need to read a bit more history before getting into this book of poems. Paul Zits used collage poetic techniques to weave together transcripts, historical accounts, memoirs, and footnotes into a non-narrative historiography of the massacre. It’s a really unique approach to a loaded topic, and it successfully (well, in my opinion, anyway) challenges the established history of the event. That’s a cool thing that writing can do – it can tease apart history when you’re not sure that what you’ve heard is entirely true. I will admit that the subject matter was a little heavy for a Friday night read, but the other poetic option in my stack was Rilke and I think I need to save a whole day for that.

Books read: 21


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