Category Archives: poetry blog

Looms “expansive”: mclennan

Many thanks to rob mclennan for his lovely review of Looms!

“There is such an expansiveness to Martin’s Looms. The poems exist in that magical place where words, images and ideas collide, creating connections that previously had never been.”

In his review, rob generously included a couple of poems from the book. If you’d like to read more from Looms, you can order a copy at the following vendors (click to link):


“They Will Take My Island”: Paul Vermeersch’s Gorky Project

"They Will Take My Island," Arshile Gorky (1944)

(Click on image to go to my poem.)

         Paul Vermeersch recently asked me to participate in his ongoing “They Will Take My Island” poetic project, in which he asks poets to respond to the eponymous 1944 painting by Arshile Gorky. I enthusiastically accepted the challenge, and immediately the question of the identity of “them” and “me” arose.
         In an age in which questions of political and economic power seem more urgent than ever, probably the meaning that will most readily surface in people’s minds is of a powerful “they” taking something away from “me,” perhaps the sovereign island of individuality, the ability to determine the course of one’s life, free of coercion from the nefarious powers-that-be. In any case, that was the meaning that first came to my mind. And several of the poems powerfully develop that political facet of the title.
         But what is fascinating about all of the poetic responses to Paul’s prompt is the sheer variety of approaches to those open-ended pronouns, as well as to the syntax of the sentence itself. As I sketched, drafted, and edited the poem, I developed the title to reflect my own philosophical, aesthetic, and cognitive concerns. And writing it was satisfying in unexpected ways.
         So thank you, Paul, for the invitation to participate in a project that has brought me much pleasure, in both the writing of my poem and the enjoyment of reading the other poets’ responses to the title.

Camille Martin

The return of the rogue . . .

More posts arriving soon, including samples from poetry books that have taken off the top of my head lately.

Meanwhile, please have a look at my newly spruced-up website—it’s leaner and cleaner and easier to navigate:

Enjoy the perusing. Comments welcome!

In other news, I recently completed a new collection of poems, “Looms.” I used the Toronto New School of Writing‘s Manuscript Midwives program and went through intensive and gratifying editing sessions with poet Phil Hall, who has an uncanny ability to figure out what you want to do and help you do it better. I’m excited about this new manuscript, which is getting encouraging feedback from poet friends who’ve read the manuscript and heard my readings from it, most recently at AvantGarden.

And onward to a new poetry manuscript with the working title “Cambrian Blues.”




Camille Martin