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Praise for The Good Life

"In Cran's poems, a hallucinatory vision of reality isn't a pose. Rather, he’s channelling the voices of visionary poets who transformed the whole Western European understanding of poetry: Villon, Baudelaire, Verlaine, Rilke, Rimbaud. . . . Cran sustains a boldly poetic diction that is all too rare. . . . If you read only one book of poems a year, make it this one."
-John Moore, Vancouver Sun

"Brad Cran, poet and publisher, is known on the West Coast for having his finger on the pulse of the next generation of literary stars." -The National Post

"Brad Cran wields a reckless new voice full of love and wrath. These are poems that carom down the highway of lost memory past the detritus of mall dreams, crab feasts and soporific suburbs - full speed into uncertainty."
-Hal Niedzviecki

"Cran's exposure of humankind's ignorance, banality and lack of forgiveness is done tenderly, acknowledging the yearning from which our hopeful distortions spring. . . . The fragmentary, dream-like quality of Cran's urban lexicon poems echoes this sensibility, as do his short, declaritive statements piled next to and atop each other like bricks, to build wall-like poems that sit in broad dense blocks on the page."
-Sonnet L'Abbe, Canadian Literature


Cran’s firm roots in urban topographies (mostly Vancouver) lend fresh energy to living on the western edge of things. . . . The poems in The Good Life fly off the page, fierce, urgent and fun. The lines of verse almost pile up, trip up, one after and over the next. Cran dares you to keep up in this pell-mell rush through cityscapes. “Leaving” - there is movement even in the titles! - speaks of rooming houses, of half-cemented relationships, of assertions that ‘down your spine/ the secrets of posture pop to the percussion of demise.’ The imperatives of Spider’s 3 A.M.” are clever and sharp (‘Here is the art of stopping the world with the cheapest rum sold/ between this bar and the tip of Orion’s sword’) and the verve of the urban swirl that is ‘Cityscape XI,’ with its ‘life of unpacked boxes/ and searching for a union job,’ is exhilarating.” -Andrew Lesk, Books in Canada

"Whether they're about travel, a childhood friend who died of an overdose, or the end of love, Brad's poems dig beyond the surface to reveal what is flawed and human in all of us. They're muscular and tender and musically rich. A new voice to be grateful for." -Lorna Crozier

"...excites nearly from start to finish. ... a strong blend of sensory language and clean narratives, a constant strength is extended to the reader who is taken on an journey of equal parts word lust and memory debunking. ... In “Today After Rain” (pg. 74) mood and philosophy are contained in a postcard of lush language, hushing us across the minute landscape, scraping our knees with pleasure."
-Nathaniel G. Moore, The Danforth Review

"Cran's firm roots in urban topographies (mostly Vancouver) lend fresh energy to living on the western edge of things... The poems in The Good Life fly off the page, fierce, urgent and fun. The lines of verse almost pile up, trip up, one after and over the next. Cran dares you to keep up in this pell-mell rush through cityscapes."
-Andrew Lesk, Books in Canada

"Vancouver publisher Brad Cran demonstrates a thoughtful, eclectic intelligence in this debut poetry collection. Although one of his poems, “The Murder of a Young Italian,” denounces the killing of an anti-globalization protester, any apparent radicalism is not apparent in his politics. His literary discourse is reasoned and measured...

"Brad Cran’s poetry is accessible, cerebral, and human in every sense of the word."
-Ronald Charles Epstein, Canadian Book Review Annual