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Reviews and Praise for Patrick Lane

The Vancouver Sun, September 16, 1995
TOO SPARE, TOO FIERCE. Patrick Lane (Harbour).
Patrick Lane has had more poems written to or about him than any poet in the incestuous extended family of our national literature, so last year Susan Musgrave had no trouble finding 55 poems to or about him for Because You Loved Being A Stranger (Harbour), a birthday-present anthology celebrating his 55th year. Obviously Lane brings out the best in other poets, but is he going soft in middle age, you wonder? Then you read a poem like "The Snake-Grass Meadows", about a man's encounter with a blinded doe, and you're back on Lane's turf, sparring on the edge of the existential abyss, head to head with one of the few poets in the world who can leave you not just shaken, but shaking. "Too spare, too fierce" sounds like it might have been one of those criticisms a writer takes as the highest praise, but it perfectly describes Lane's gift for going directly and unflinchingly to the heart of the harshest truths of life.

-John Moore, The Vancouver Sun


On Patrick Lane:
"He's the best poet of his generation"
-Charles Lillard, Victoria Times-Colonist

"Patrick Lane has always walked the thin ice where truth and terror meet with a kind of savage intuition."
-Vancouver Sun

"These poems are a gift to keep. If you say them to yourself you will be speaking to your self."
-John Newlove