Quill and Quire

Books of the Year

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Q&Q’s picks for books of the year 2014


Angular UnconformityDon McKay(Goose Lane Editions)

Angular Unconformity
Don McKay
(Goose Lane Editions)

Don McKay’s poetry is steeped in vernacular language, music, and nature. Much of his work falls into the rough category of “eco-poetry,” though this is surely an unfair reduction of his range and appeal, as any reader of this massive new volume of collected poems can attest. McKay’s influence has been extraordinary, both as a poet and a teacher and editor, and this hefty (and beautifully designed) collection deserves a spot on any reader’s shelf. – SWB


Ant ColonyMichael DeForge(Drawn & Quarterly)

Ant Colony
Michael DeForge
(Drawn & Quarterly)

Set in a colourful but nihilistic world inhabited by ants (including a child prophet and a rather charming psychopath) and hungry dog-faced spiders, Michael DeForge’s debut graphic novel features warring states, crumbling relationships, familial strife, and environmental collapse. The Toronto cartoonist exhibits philosophical confidence and tight control over his material, elevating what could have been a string of silly visual gags into a thoughtful (but hilarious) take on human nature. – SCF


Everywhere Antennas
Julie Delaporte; Helge Dascher, trans.

When a book enters that elusive domain of “personal favourites,” it’s often difficult to distinguish one’s admiration of the work from its maker. For me, France-born comics artist Julie Delporte falls into that category, and her beautiful, existential graphic novel, Everywhere Antennas, did not disappoint. Despite its preoccupation with technology, Everywhere Antennas’ rough-hewn scrapbook aesthetic has a vital, refreshing offline sensibility. – JB