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DRAMA 81 Norris, Ken. Limbo Road. Talon. 160. $15.95 Olafson, Richard. Cloud on My Tongue. Ekstasis. 64. $12.95 Ondaatje, Michael. Handwriting. McClelland and Stewart. 88. $19.99 Outram, Richard. Benedict Abroad. St Thomas Poetry.Series. 48. $9.50 Owen, Catherine. Somatic: The Life and Work of Egon Schiele. Exile. 80. $15.95 Page, P.K .Alphabetical. Hawthorne Society/Reference West. 23, $10.00 - Rosa dei venti/Compass Rose. Ed Branko Gorjup. Trans Francesca Valente. Longo Poesia. 216, n.p. Pal, Rajinderpal S. Pappaji Wrote Poetry ill a Language I Cannot Read. TSAR. 66. $13·95 Peach, Leroy Payne. Inlets of the Heart. UCCB Press. 78. $12.95 Plater, Max. Winter Fires. Exile. 88. $14.95 Poile, Craig. First Crack. Harbinger Poetry Series/Carleton University Press. 54. $16·95 Pond, Judith. Lovers and Other Monsters. Oberon. 96. $13.95 Rhenisch, Harold. The Blue Mouth of Morning. Oolichan. 96. $14.95 - Taking the Breath Away. Ronsdale. 96. $13.95 Rule, Bernadette. The Weight of Flames. St Thomas Poetry Series. 48. $9.50 Sarah, Robyn. Questions about the Stars. Brick. 112. $12.95 Schertzer, Mike. Cipher and Poverty: The Book of Nothing. Ekstasis. 96. $12.95 Smith, Jim. Leonel/Roql..le. Coteau. 102. $11.95 Sorestad, Glen. Icons of Flesh. Ekstasis. 72 . $12.95 Spears, Heather. Poems Selected and New. Wolsak and Wynn. 11.4. $14.00 Stanko, Mary Rudbeck. Torches for the Troubadour. Carlyle Steeves, Andrew. Ctttling the Devil's Throat. Goose Lane. 104. $12.95 Steffler, John. The Night We Were Ravenous. McClelland and Stewart. 118. $12.99 Stewart, Shannon. The Canadian Girl. Nightwood, 80. $10.95 Strowbridge, Nellie P. ShadoZlJs of the Heart. Jesperson. 88. $12.95 Terpstra, John. Devil's Punch Bowl. St Thomas Poetry Series. 48. 9.50 Trower, Peter. Hitting the Brick: Urban Jazz Poems. Ekstasis. 96. $12.95 Uppal, Priscila. How to Draw Blood from a Stone. Exile. 88. $16.95 Wilson, Sheri-D. The Sweet Taste of Lightning. Arsenal Pulp. 128. $12.95 Wong, Rita. monkeYPllzzle. Press Gang. 112. $14.95 Zieroth, David. How I Joined Humanity at Last. Harbour. 112. $14.95 Zwicky, Jan. Songs for Relinquishing the Earth. (1996) Brick. 88. $12.95 Drama CYNTHIA ZIMMERMAN The year 1998 was an unexceptional one for drama publishing in Canada. Approximately the same number of scripts were printed as in 1996 and 1997, and produced by the same stalwart publishers: a dozen from each of 82 LETTERS IN CANADA 1998 Talon and Playwrights Canada Press, half a dozen from Scirocco and Blizzard, and one or two from smaller presses like Nuage, Exile, Coteau, NeWest, Simon and Pierre. While at this point only Playwrights Canada Press is exclusively devoted to the publishing of drama, as recently as 1997 Talon reiterated its editorial commitment to the less profitable areas of poetry and drama. Publishing Canadian drama may be something presses do mainly for love, rather than profit, but plays are being published. There are as many dramatists at work out there as there have ever been. We have come a long way since the mid-198os when, in these very pages, my colleague Jolm Astington called the situation a 'famine.' However, it is also true that the plays being published continue to be limited in size and scope, with few exceptions; that the liveliest and most innovative work is small scale; that when it comes to production, original Canadian work continues to be ghettoized, almost never to be found in the nation's showcase theatres or in large commercial ones. This situation is not separate from the marketdriven focus in the economy and the continuing decrease in government support for the arts. This means that after coming such a long way, and now looking ahead to what may be further globalization and the concomitant diminishing of distinctiveness, the health of Canadian drama cannot be taken for granted. Therefore, it is a pleasure to be able to begin this review with something celebratory. Rhubarb-o-rama! Plays and Playwrightsfrom the Rhubarb! Festival, edited by Franco Bani (Blizzard, 334, $24.95), is a special-occasion publication : to commemorate the Rhubarb! Festival's twentieth anniversary. Twenty short plays (one for each year), plus twenty-four interviews (most of...


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