A God Hangs Upside Down


112 pages
ISBN 1-55071-014-1
DDC C811'.54





Reviewed by Bert Almon

Bert Almon is a professor of English at the University of Alberta and
the author of Calling Texas and Earth Prime.


Joseph Maviglia writes a pleasant sort of poem, not too far from pop
music—he is in fact a singer and songwriter who has won a Juno. In
essence, it’s a kind of coffeehouse poetry—rhythmical, not
demanding, with the occasional good image, such as “he pulls a star
out of his throat.” He is heavily concerned with memories of Calabria,
with life in Canada, with construction jobs, with Italian-immigrant
touchstones like Columbus. Ethnic references in themselves don’t
constitute poetry; Maviglia needs to demand much more of himself
technically. The occasional allusions to such superb Italian poets as
Pavese and Quasimodo remind us that there are poets who write on another
level entirely. The notes to the book often explain references that most
readers would have no trouble recognizing.


Maviglia, Joseph., “A God Hangs Upside Down,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 16, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/1516.