The Pig Headed Soul
Essays and Reviews on Poetry and Culture
The Pigheaded Soul presents a series of witty, intelligent, and sometimes controversial essays in which talented newcomers and avowed masters alike find themselves within the literary crosshairs of acclaimed poet and critic Jason Guriel. Guriel does not shy away from the negative review, nor does he begrudge praise where praise is due. He applauds the innovative and evocative, rails against the lazy and the imprecise, and critiques the ‘hipster’ mentality of so-called avant-gardists who use the same tired tricks as shortcuts to perceived innovation. But far from providing only reviews and critical readings, The Pigheaded Soul serves up amusing insider anecdotes about the poetry community, from intelligent examinations of inspiration and imagination, to gonzo reportage of high-profile – and occasionally absurd – literary events. Wry, engaging, and astute, Guriel writes with a confidence and panache that enlivens the often dry and dusty field of literary criticism.
Jason Guriel is a poet and critic whose work has appeared in such influential publications as Poetry, Reader’s Digest, The Walrus, Parnassus, Canadian Notes & Queries, The New Criterion, and PN Review. His poetry has been anthologized in The Best Canadian Poetry in English, and in 2007, he was the first Canadian to receive the Frederick Bock Prize from Poetry magazine. He won Poetry’s Editors Prize for Book Reviewing in 2009. Guriel lives in Toronto, Ontario.