Reviewers’ Comments

On Bedlam Cowslip: The John Clare Poems (2015):

“Lynes tracks the life of 19th century rural poet John Clare through poems of startling virtuosity. The first poem delivers such a whack of primal acoustic and kinetic delight that narrative takes second place…Alongside tragedy there’s humour. “On Celebrity” features Clare suffering from ‘delusions/of grammar’ and the public’s adulation of Lord Byron. The first line of “The Edge of the World, a Theory” is Lynes’ own comical retort, “Isn’t it a bit too late for theories?” Though the poems are written in full knowledge that it is too late for Clare, Lynes champions his life, land and sensibility with sweet irony and technical mastery.” — Leslie Timmins, Event (2016)

“I enjoyed this book. It teems with energy, necessity and feeling. Lynes composes with a bracing combination of openness, wonder and affinity….As Clare succumbs to mental illness, his relationship even with his beloved poetry becomes fraught, for poems, too, are containers. He rages and struggles within them. HE mocks his own “pencil-jabbing at stars.” Yet he’s also wonderfully susceptible to passion and feeling, and Lynes brilliantly preserves and enacts this, displaying (with kindness, not contempt) all  its folly in what may now be one of my favourite love poems, “John Clare in Love.” — Anita Lahey, The Fiddlehead (2016)

On Archive of the Undressed: Poems (2012):
“Remarkable, unexpected, and highly relevant, what Lynes has given over is a devastatingly beautiful body – of work.” – Liz Worth, Quill & Quire, December, 2012

“In essence, Lynes is the Tina Fey of Canadian poetry. She’s at her best when combining the farcical with a sharp eye for the telling detail…Though it revisits a historical period, there’s nothing dated about Archive of the Undressed; it’s smart, funny, and relevant.”
— Barbara Carey, The Toronto Star, May 12, 2013

“Archive of the Undressed is a must for contemporary poetry collections – The Poetry
Shelf, Midwest Book Review, 2013.

On The Factory Voice: A Novel (2009):
“The Factory Voice is a fine debut novel by Jeanette Lynes…The characters are carefully drawn and make clear Lynes’ discerning and highly focused narrative skills…Muriel and her character-colleagues are complex and easily provide Lynes with the foundation for a series of sequels…Lynes wraps us fully in her debut novel. From the sex-kitten boots on the front cover, to the comic strip airplane that flies at the head of each chapter, The Factory Voice has a solid period feel. This is a wonderful accomplishment, one that Lynes also achieves in her poetry collection, It’s Hard Being Queen: The Dusty Springfield Poems (Freehand Books, 2008).” – Anne Sorbie, The Wascana Review, 42. 1

“The Factory Voice, set in Fort William, Ontario (now part of Thunder Bay), in the midst of the Second World War, is so much fun to read, with such an inventive and entertaining premise, that I can imagine it as a great television series…Lynes has a great talent for bringing idiosyncratic characters to life while capturing wartime atmosphere, vernacular and anxiety…the entire story reads like a radio drama of the time…a rollicking good tale….Instead of giving us a laboured account and biography of McGill [Canada’s first woman aeronautical engineer] [Lynes] invented an entertainment in the form of this inspired book.” — Carla Lucchetta, The Globe and Mail, May 9, 2009

“The Giller Prize long list was released last week; a dozen novels. A few of their names are well known. When Jeanette Lynes’ The Factory Voice drifted in for review, it joined a long line-up waiting to be read. I started it early one afternoon while watching the leaves change from the picnic table. And didn’t put it down ‘til dusk…This is a tasty novel, about as homespun as they get…A breath of fresh air, The Factory Voice seems to have come from nowhere to entertain and engage.”
– The Owen Sound Sun Times, Sept. 30, 2009

“In her debut novel, Nova-Scotia-based poet Jeanette Lynes portrays the era of Rosie the Riveter in a vibrant tale about the intertwined lives of four female employees at an aircraft plant…Throughout the novel, Lynes’ meticulous research contributes much ot the historical background…equally impressive is Lynes’ ability to create complex characters….Entertaining and incisive, The Factory Voice is a richly imagined story that captures a significant page from the history of Canadian women in the workplace. At the same time, it marks a fine fiction debut for Lynes.”
– Bev Sandell Greenberg, The Winnipeg Free Press, May 3, 2009

“The novel is not built on historical references or battle scenes, but rather it sneaks into the private lives of those who work to support the cause, the powerful and feisty women who tighten the bolts and weld the wings that propel what has commonly been seen as a man’s war. Simply put, Lynes’ novel is full of swooping surprises and entertaining voices and, given its quick-witted style, all I can say is, ‘keep ‘em flying?’
– Andrea Thompson, Event, September 2009

“Lynes weaves together the stories of the four women as deftly as Audrey wheels the snack wagon through the factory, and then one day these characters grow up and mature…Check out this book; Lynes’ debut is an enjoyable read.”
– Mary Barnes, Prairie Fire, January 27, 2010

“Jeanette Lynes’ debut novel, The Factory Voice, is an entertaining and engaging story set in an airplane factory in Fort William, Ontario, during the Second World War…Lynes does an excellent job of weaving these various points of view into a smooth narrative…The Second World War is vividly evoked…a compelling narrative that is hard to put down.” – Candace Fertile, Quill & Quire, May 2009

On The New Blue Distance: Poems (2009):
“The poems in Jeanette Lynes’ fifth collection are lively narratives on a variety of subjects…Lynes is adept at finding a rueful but robust humour…the poems in her own voice, with its quirky observations and wry wit, are the highlights of The New Blue Distance.” — Barbara Carey, The Toronto Star, July 12, 2009

“Jeanette Lynes is like the witty poetry professor you hope might accompany you to the bar after class so you can hear stories about her life…Jeanette Lynes can pretty much go anywhere in the everyday and have something interesting to observe. Her language is rich and precise, and she’s adept at the art of storytelling. But when you take away the wit, the pop culture and the observations on the lives of Canadian women, Lynes is at her best when she’s quietly vulnerable but still lacing her lines with humour.”
— Zoe Whittall, The Globe and Mail, September 4, 2009

On It’s Hard Being Queen: The Dusty Springfield Poems (2008):
“The difficult job of a poetic biography is that it can’t be about a life the way a conventional biography is. A poetic biography has to also embody a life and It’s Hard Being Queen succeeds wonderfully as something both regal and gloriously wrecked.”
– Brian Joseph Davis, Toronto Eye Weekly, Sept. 10, 2008

“The book is a moving, detailed and also hard-edged account of the pop singer Dusty Springfield.”
— Maurice Merieu, Winnipeg Free Press, Sept. 28, 2008

“Lynes succeeds admirably in making flesh of Dust.” – Zach Wells, Quill & Quire, Oct.
On The Aging Cheerleader’s Alphabet (2003) & Left Fields (2003):
“Some poetry is particularly well designed to appeal not only to the ear but as well to be emotionally effective and intellectually graspable at first hearing. Of this sort of good poetry two new books by Jeanette Lynes are exceptionally fine examples. She has an excellent command of pace, stress, timing, and knows, as Frost has said, ‘it’s how you say a thing that counts’. The work must be marvelously suitable to the radio, requiring no more ‘performance’ than the language itself provides. And this poet is funny, with that vigorous but modest irreverence I think of as almost peculiarly feminine: as in Bishop, Moore, Gotlieb, etc. I heartily recommend her collections.” – M. Travis Lane, The Fiddlehead (No. 223, Spring, 2005)

On The Aging Cheerleader’s Alphabet (2003):
“Although the voice in Jeanette Lynes’ The Aging Cheerleader’s Alphabet is that of a woman who is, in ‘Cocktails at Brimstone’, identified by her name tag as ‘Maud-Lynn Hope, Retired Cheerleader’, this collection is both a psychological study and a humorous social commentary…a poignant and often funny collection.”
– Robert Attridge, Event: The Douglas College Review (Vol. 33:3, Spring 2005)

On Left Fields (2003):
“Lynes’ outlook is offbeat and often funny. She is at her best when cultural worlds collide, for she has an appealing way of combining comedy and social observation.”
— Barbara Carey, The Toronto Star, Oct. 19/03

On A Woman Alone on the Atikokan Highway (1999):
“Lynes is a real discovery. There will not likely be another book of poetry this year as warm and suggestive of an entire life’s experience.” – Ottawa Xpress, 1999.

“Lynes tells us stories in a compact language that breathes. Her first collection is a gift.”
— paperplates, 2000.

“Her first volume is a vivid, energetic collection about childhood, mother, love, men, adventure, television shows and popular music, at times reminiscent of the late Bronwen Wallace’s work in its subject matter drawn from daily life, its originality, and its unmistakable woman-voice. Lynes’ work is heartfelt, her voice fresh.”
– Barbara Myers, Arc: Canada’s Poetry Magazine, 2000.

“Lynes is elegance in lines. Read.” – George Elliott Clarke, Halifax Sunday Herald,
“Look out. A Woman Alone on the Atikokan Highway moves fast and doesn’t mess around. The language is loaded and expertly controlled, her taut lines dropped with comic timing.” — Clare Goulet, Atlantic Books Today, 2000.

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