Chapbook Review: Ten Canadian Short Plays

Ten Canadian Short Plays

Chapbook, Rasiqra Revulva, 14 pgs,

While this is ostensibly a collection of short plays, it’s also a peek at someone else’s bookshelf, and the opportunity to judge others by what they’re reading is a hard one to pass up. If the eyes are the window to the soul, the bookshelf is the door.

To build her plays — each one a title plus a synopsis or a handful of lines — Rasiqra Revulva pillaged the spines of her personal library, taking full book titles and combining them to create miniature dramas. While brief, the results are often clever: “Mosh Pit Diary: a portrait of the artist as a young man.”

Crafting this kind of found poetry, with little or no manipulation of the source text (there were “minor typographical and punctuation edits” only), can be hit and miss, and there are a few amalgamations here that will likely never make as much sense to a reader as they do to Revulva. Still, Ten Canadian Short Plays is an amusing read, and the inclusion of a list of sources at the end is an unfiltered look at that aforementioned bookshelf. (Scott Bryson)