By turns celebratory and sceptical, Career Limiting Moves is a selection of essays and reviews drawn from a decade of immersion in Canadian poetry. Inhabiting a milieu in which unfriendly remarks are typically spoken sotto voce—if at all—Wells has consistently said what he thinks aloud. The pieces in this collection comprise revisionist assessments of some big names in Canadian Poetry (Margaret Atwood, Lorna Crozier, Don McKay and Patrick Lane, among others); satirical ripostes parrying others’ critical views (Andre Alexis, Erin Moure, Jan Zwicky); substantial appraisals of underrated or near-forgotten poets (Charles Bruce, Kenneth Leslie, Peter Sanger, John Smith, Peter Trower, Peter Van Toorn); assessments of promising debuts (Suzanne Buffam, Pino Coluccio, Thomas Heise, Peter Norman) and much else besides—including a few surprises for anyone who thinks they have Wells’s taste figured out.
“Playful, snarky, sharp-witted, intelligent and polemical … his debate skills (formidable) leave his opponents flattened.”—Michael Bryson, The Underground Book Club
“One of Canada’s most vocal and pugnacious critics of poetry … adept at setting words down with incredible precision and maximum impact. Career Limiting Moves reminds us about the strengths—and the dangers—of standing behind one’s opinions. Of being honest. Of being clear. And of loving a good fight.”—Free Range Reading