by Stephen Bett
Stephen Bett’s father took him to sit, age 15 and starting out in poetry, at the feet of his father’s friend P.K. Page, the doyenne of Canadian poetry, who later revived the “glosa” in Canada. Bett’s new book, his 25th, in a sense brings it all back home. Broken Glosa takes the “glosa,” a Renaissance Spanish Court form, and breaks it down to its contemporary essentials―fractured forms for fractured times―riffing on postmodernist and post-avant poets in ways that are as surprising and inventive as they are richly textured. This book plays out Stephen Bett’s lifetime in North American avant-garde poetry, taking the measure of 70 postmodernist poets.