The cultures behind [Andrew Suknaski]—Indian, Métis, Ukrainian, Chinese, homesteader, farmer, labourer—move as spirits through his landscape, usually prairie. [In his collection of poems The Ghosts Call You Poor all] the people who have died, who are dying, in his place are the ghosts, each with a story to tell. Suknaski listens to the ghosts, guiltily…. (p. 129)
A poem titled "Augusta née Hoffman" gives some clues to the characteristic Suknaski poem…. Suknaski cherishes [the] unpolished, uneasy, open, self-taught approach to storytelling. His poetry is often written in such a self-deprecating tone, echoing the voice of one of his most obvious models, Al Purdy. As he tells us in...
(The entire section is 403 words.)