By (author): Shane Rhodes



Shane Rhodes

Shane Rhodes is the author of five books of poetry, and has won awards including an Alberta Book Award and the National Magazine Gold Award for Poetry. He lives in Ottawa, Ontario.


Praise for Shane Rhodes’s previous work:

Shane Rhodes is a national treasure
─ Leah Rae, Geist

Rhodes’s facility with language injects resonance directly into the veins to shock and then soothe: the storm and the calm.
─ Jacqueline Turner, The Georgia Straight

The Bindery is Rhodes’ third book and builds on the considerable accomplishments of his earlier works … Part travelogue, part genealogy, part guide to Latin-American commerce, part cabinet of wonder … Rhodes explores the resonances and dissonances of cultural, physical, and emotional rhyme. This is a book worth taking along on any trip.
─ Adam Dickinson, Canadian Literature

Rhodes’s third collection, The Bindery, encompasses a distinct blend of lyrical, narrative and quasi-experimental styles, taking us through Latin America and Mexico, to India, Argentina and even through the Canadian Rockies. Emotionally, Rhodes takes us much farther … The Bindery is a gorgeous collection of poetry with a clear disregard for form; these poems are as distinct as the cultures and places from which they draw their inspiration.
─ Thomas Trofimuk, Alberta Views
– Praise for Rhodes’s previous work

Mining this relentlessly inventive collection of lyrics, I discovered what Rhodes could really do with language. In Us the speaker’s homoerotic experience is breathless … [t]his is the cryptic Rhodes, condensing landscapes of human experience into single phonemes. And then there is the meditative Rhodes, contemplating, in Fixed, the moment of his Ukrainian uncle’s death … Always in Rhodes, Self and human experience must become the substance of language itself, unERRingly.
–Allen Bently, The Telegraph-Journal
Rhodes demonstrates his expert use of language in The Cloud Chamber, the book’s third chapter. In seeking out specific sounds within language, the poet creates works that are not only a joy to hear, but also a joy to read. … [Err] is a genuinely entertaining piece of literature–a book to make you laugh, cry, and perhaps order another round.
–Danika J. Grenier, The Wig
[Shane Rhodes’s] latest book, Err, is his conscious quest to explore the underpinnings of what he practises as an art form. … For example, for some poems Rhodes reverses the traditional method of composing–adding piece onto piece–and explores a different and fascinatingly startling method.
–Jeremy Mesiano-Crookston, Ottawa XPress
Life’s vices can combine into one volatile cocktail. Err is a collection of poetry from Shane Rhodes, as he talks on the dark underbelly of life and what we’re searching for when we’re under there. Pulling no punches and speaking on every subject he can think of, Err is a riveting work that values entertainment alongside its message.
Small Press Bookwatch (Wisconsin)
From his earlier trade collections … the tight lyric lines of Rhodes’ poems have become more acrobatic, tumbling lines that reveal a healthy looseness to his language, and phrases turning far faster than he ever had before. … [T]he playfulness of the entire collection abounds, madly off in all directions … yet Rhodes seems at his cartwheeling best when all that energy is contained, somewhat, and directed in shorter, smaller bursts, such as in the eight-part poem “Shooters.”
rob mclennan’s blog
Err is … highly entertaining, a smorgasbord of not-so-casual language games twisted into sharp poems both inviting & provocative.
–Douglas Barbour, Eclectic Ruckus
Err is a talented, drunken kiss from a silver tongue. It lingers … as a brilliant, but sometimes bitter, taste in the mouth.
–Sonnet L’Abbe, The Globe and Mail
If you appreciate when poets twist and stretch language to see how far it can go, then Rhodes’s Err is for you.
–Ian LeTourneau, The Malahat Review


There are no awards found for this book.
Excerpts & Samples ×
Sex, booze, war and wordplay collide loquaciously in Err, the latest collection from innovative and accomplished poet Shane Rhodes. Equally amusing and stunning with his joyful manipulation of language and his stark portrayals of disease and oppression, Rhodes tackles everything from AIDS to martinis with style, wit and clarity.

The book is divided into four themed sections, each of which focuses on a different sphere of life and creativity. “Spirits” amends the current scarcity of drinking poems with humourous, effervescent musings, whereas “Bodies” looks at the ravages of sex, disease and death. “The Cloud Chamber” traces the breakdown of language and sound into poems that interrogate letters, phonemes and jargon, while “Dark Matter” investigates new ways of writing and thinking about poetry.

A master of alliteration, allusion, rhyme and rhythm, Rhodes shakes up a verbal cocktail of vibrant musicality that appeals to the imagination and remains in the memory. This distinctive collection makes for delightful, unusual and engaging reading.

Reader Reviews



96 Pages
8in * 5.5in * 0.25in


March 30, 2011


Nightwood Editions



Book Subjects:

POETRY / Canadian

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By (author): Shane Rhodes