Chapbook Review: Sonnets on a Night Without Love

ZINES_Sonnets on a Night Without Love (Bryson)

Sonnets on a Night Without Love
Chapbook, Yusuf Saadi, 24 pgs, Vallum Society for Arts & Letters Education,, $10

For a collection that professes to be about a night without love, the word “love” and its machinations sure make a lot of appearances. Perhaps the title is more suggestive of an effort to fill a void, rather than an attempt to evade a feeling.

These poems predominantly see Yusuf Saadi directly

Chapbook Review: Shiftless (Harvester)

ZINES_Shiftless (Joel)

Shiftless (Harvester)
Chapbook, Buck Downs, 24 pgs, above/ground press,, $4

Buck Downs’s poetic method has been outlined in Broken Pencil’s review for “Touch the Donkey #11”, as his work is briefly featured there, but it is worth noting here again for this interview, where the advantages and disadvantages to this approach are emphasized more heavily. “Shiftless(Harvester)” is, after all, a chapbook entirely of Downs’s composition, so when his method of “brute-force typing,” as he calls it, is tasked with producing the 23 short poems printed herein, their method of production is much more obvious.
In an interview with publisher rob mclennan, Down’s describes his

Chapbook Review: Reframing Paul Cadmus

ZINES_Reframing (Joel)

Reframing Paul Cadmus
Chapbook, John Barton, 24 pgs, above/ground press,, $5

Printed 7” x 8.5”, John Barton presents, here, a sizable—not to mention memorable—collection of ekphrastic poetry. Each of Barton’s eleven poems printed herein demonstrates not only an intense familiarity with the visual work of Paul Cadmus, but a unique ability to transform his paintings into sensual narratives, all of which connect into a near-seamless collection that demands to be read aloud.
For a reader generally unfamiliar with Cadmus’s work, I am surprised to feel such a visceral connection with his subjects through the dancing words of Barton’s interpretive hand. This speaks to the skill of the writer,

Chapbook Review: PTSD south beach

ZINES_PTSD South Beach (Klara)

PTSD south beach
Chapbook, Puneet Dutt, 24 pgs, Grey Borders Books,, $5

A finalist for the 2016 Breitling Chapbook Prize, Puneet Dutt’s is a fine collection of poems, coherently selected to straddle both a politically informed and nostalgically personal perspective. As the post-traumatic stress disorder of the title would suggest, PTSD south beach projects organized violence, war, as a given, but then filters it through the harrowing experience of the individual.

BP Members Exclusive: Song of the Month presented by Wavelength


Hello wonderful Broken Pencil members!

This year, we’re excited to be hooking our loyal subscribers and members up with all sorts of cool perks, events, media, and discounts. Don’t have a subscription? Get one at our online store, and you’ll automatically get access to all of the exclusive stuff we’ve got planned for our community this year.

To start us off, we’re beyond stoked to be partnering with the coolest of the cool of the Toronto underground music scene, Wavelength, who will be curating a special song of the month download just for our members. Our first song? “Wearing Dark Colours” by the awesome Hush Pup!

Hush Pup is a dreamy synth-pop duo made up of Ida Maidstone and Steve Scott. Based out of Toronto but with roots in Victoria, B.C., the pair offers a relaxing sound that will immediately  unburden you of all your stresses. We’re excited to premiere this new song “Wearing Dark Colours,” as the first offering in Wavelength + Broken Pencil Magazine’s Song of the Month Club! Read the interview with Hush Pup on the Wavelog. Stream the song here!

Deathmatch: The Lost Days

Lo, on the second day of the Deathmatch semi-finals, our ever-worshiped Website Gods felt neglected and exerted their wrath, screwing up the Deathmatch pretty badly.

As we all waited with curses on our tongues for the Website Gods to take pity on us poor indie fiction-obsessed souls, it was decided that we should review some of the best lines in our top four to get our fix!

Failure to Cooperate by Susan Read hits you with remarkably witty questionnaire answers, the best one being “I wish”. What does the narrator wish? Read the story, it’s in the semi-finals for a reason!

“A ‘soul’. An ego, more like—for he was not a religious man. He poured the sum total of whatever he meant by ‘soul’ into his music. She couldn’t help but feel like he was sucking it out of her at the same time.” Sick to Death of Stories by Peter McCamus explores the dynamics of a woman’s relationship with her father and boyfriend, which aren’t great, with some poignant moments.

In Fogger by NAME the narrator declares: “I am a completely nanofabricated being. My keepers call me a marvel of human replication. I was crafted as an infant and grew to adulthood in much the same way an authentic human would. My internal workings have functioned synchronously for decades, and will continue to function for decades more, but from the time I was very young, I knew I wasn’t real.” Who doesn’t start question their existence and human flesh-form after reading that?

Finally, in honour of the holy greeting card holiday we have to pay tribute to NAME’s line: “I kissed you at an anti-Valentine’s party, which worked against my anti-Valentine beliefs because now February 14th is our anniversary,” from I Want You Around: True Tales of a Relationship in 10 Ramones Songs.

Our sacrifices to the Website Gods were eventually accepted so we hope that you lovely Deathmatchers are ready to fight it out in the semi-finals now that we’re back up! Thanks as always to our fabulous sponsors Seneca College for making this all happen!