Halifax in Verse: ‘Against the Hard Angle’ on Google Maps @ ECW Press


Against the Hard Angle has gone digital, in a way.

As a part of ECW Press’s publicity campaign for matt’s newly released, Against the Hard Angle, they’ve gone to the trouble of creating a ‘Halifax in Verse’ Google Map that charts each and every one of  the 14 poems in the collection’s second section, toeing the slack-roped narrows.  

The Halifax locations and landmarks used as jumping off points for each of the poems in the book are pinpointed and paired with representative poetic snippets. Even local independent bookseller, The Bookmark, is zeroed in so you can grab a copy of the book as your traipse the city on your poetic reality tour.

This is, quite simply, as noted on the map itself : ” ‘Halifax in Verse.’ Halifax, Nova Scotia, in poetic snapshots excerpted from matt robinson’s Against the Hard Angle (ECW Press, 2010).”



It’s poetry for the web. Or your iPhone. Or other techo-gadgety things like that.

It’s like a game of online poetry-orienteering. Poeteering, if you will.

Sound intriguing? Ready to plan your trip? Well: you can find this nifty bit of poetic technology by heading to ECW Press’s webpage for Against the Hard Angle right  HERE: http://www.ecwpress.com/books/against_hard_angle


Against the Hard Angle 

(ECW Press: Toronto, 2010)  / ISBN – 10:  155022915X / ISBN – 13:  9781550229158

The two sections that comprise matt robinson’s fourth full-length volume of poetry, Against the Hard Angle, though disparate in terms of form, nonetheless share a common concern with ideas of relationship and its examination. These are poems, at their cores, about where we stand in relation to the rest of our various worlds.

The collection’s opening section steadily develops a grudging momentum, all the while searching for a way to articulate loss, in the end becoming a kind of meditative catalogue of relationship breakdown and divorce. It is, as noted by the Malahat Prize judges, “a lean sweep of blues variations … knotty and slow, with a latent violence that is continuously courted and undermined … a kind of phenomenological trance … ‘angle’ recalibrates our being in the world, ‘and topples / stacks of // whatever might not be nailed tightly down.’ ” 

Part extended love song to and for a city and part mediation on what a city can both say to and about us, Against the Hard Angle‘s second half uses some of Halifax’s most and least famous places and spaces as jumping off points for a stop-and-start lyrical reality tour of eastern Canada’s largest urban centre, a sometimes fraught journey that leaves us “all tendon-tensed, / against impact, near white-knuckled to / breakage.”


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