‘If grown-ups don’t read poetry’, writes poet and critic Carmine Starnino, ‘it’s not because they have a bone to pick with poets. The truth is even more intolerable: they prefer not to. . . They’re just not that into us.’ In his latest collection of critical essays, Starnino reports on the state of poetry with his usual sleeves-rolled-up approach to literary criticism which synthesizes broad observation with close reading. Engaging both icons (Atwood, Birney, McKay, Moritz, bpNichol) and lesser-knowns (James Denoon, Anne Szumigalski, Peter Trower), Starnino writes with the style, wit and intensity of a poet-critic, offering confident, intelligent candour where we have too often settled for ‘bland, much-recycled truisms’.