K so this list will be a little canlit-heavy but you'll be fine. also, I say beautiful too many times. 👻❤️ if you wanna add your own, the rule is you need to have a picture of it cuz pretty.
  1. The Outer Harbour - Wayde Compton
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    these stories, set in Vancouver, fucking rocked me. Compton writes about life in cities, life on the edge of ecological, ethical disaster, decolonizing art, the future. can't recommend these stories highly enough. they are beautiful and smart and dangerous. if you only read one collection of short stories this year, read this.
  2. Prelude to Bruise - Saeed Jones
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    ok so this one is technically from 2014 but it's amazing and I read it this year. I'm sure this has become a lot of people' favourite poetry collections and Saeed really deserves all the praise he's gotten this year because Prelude to Bruise is unreal. I've never seen somebody write like this and I'm not sure I can exactly pin down why. so necessary and gorgeous.
  3. Dear Leader - Damien Rogers
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    Rogers work is really hard to describe. her voice is distinct, tense, sometimes funny and always beautiful. here's a great passage: "Iron your mind out like a crisp bedsheet. Hang it on a clothesline. Call it the sky."
  4. Fifteen Dogs - André Alexis
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    this novel won the giller this year, which is awesome for coach house press, a Toronto-based printing press (they also published Otter and Dear Leader). the basic plot: Hermes and Apollo make a bet that animals would be as unhappy as humans if they had human intelligence so they grant intelligence to fifteen dogs. one of them becomes a poet and it's hilarious and sad and poignant. also if that premise doesn't sell you on it, I will fight you.
  5. Otter - Ben Ladoucer
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    This is ben's first collection of poems and it's amazing. he ties together history, sex and small observations about life and desire in such a beautiful way. seriously, this collection is mad ethereal and pretty af. listen to this line about his old apartment on the esplanade: "The bedroom did not always brim with such vacancy. First, someone loved you while exiting it."
  6. A New Index For Predicting Catastrophes - Madhur Anand
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    Madhur has a PhD in theoretical ecology and these poems are as much an act of radical ecology, as they are verse. Madhur tethers pop culture and human experiences to a biological world of shifting signals and forces in a way that feels effortless. it's beautiful to watch/read.
  7. Haints Stay - Colin Winnette
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    haints stay is a modern take on a 70s acid western (ppl say this - I 100% didn't know this was a genre until reading about this book but it sounds like a smart thing film students say). I couldn't put this book down. it's beautifully written and does genre fiction in a way that feels so contemporary and nostalgic at the same time.
  8. Get Me Out Of Here - Sachiko Murakami
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    Ok so this collection of poems has a story: Sachiko asked people in airports to give a one sentence impression of their surroundings - people, places, things - and in response, Sachiko wrote each traveller a poem. this collection compiles both their impressions and Sachiko's poetic response. the result is a quiet, migratory answer to a simple, human question - why is it so difficult to stay present in the moment?