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An ABC of Belly Work

Peter Richardson’s debut, A Tinkers’ Picnic, introduced a new variety of tough talk to Canadian poetry with poems that, in their force-of-nature irrepressibility and verbal derring-do, typified nothing less than their own one-of-a-kind verve. With An ABC of Belly Work, Richardson has written another book of tall-tale, outsized poems full of aggressive banter and oddball colloquialisms. What sets Richardson apart, however isn’t so much the way he frisks his poetry with free-wheeling and unpredictable touches, but the sincere fervency he brings to his concerns. Beneath all the enjoyable hamming-up, this inventive and irreverent second collection is rife with immensely moving conjectures on fatherhood, death and love.

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