In Fine Form

The Canadian Book of Form Poetry

Edited by Kate Braid

Edited by Sandy Shreve

With this groundbreaking anthology, poets and teachers Kate Braid and Sandy Shreve set out to explore Canadian form poetry. The result is a thrilling collection of 175 poems, over 140 poets from the 18th century to the present day, and 20 distinct poetic forms (sonnets and ghazals, triolets and ballads, epigrams, pallindromes, blues and more) that will appeal to every poetry lover as well as teachers and students of poetry. Poets include Bliss Carman, Sir Charles G.D. Roberts, Dennis Lee, George Elliott Clarke, Alden Nowlan, Gwendolyn MacEwan, Molly Peacock, Lorna Crozier, Anne Simpson, Émile Nelligan, Adam Sol, Barbara Nickel, Christian Bok and over 100 more.

“No verse is free for the poet who wants to do a good job.” —T. S. Eliot

While it positions itself as merely “providing insights into the way forms work, as well as offer[ing] ideas and inspiration to writers,” In Fine Form, the new anthology from poet-editors Kate Braid and Sandy Shreve, seems to have a more subversive purpose. Following from the preface by P.K. Page, the book serves as a call to arms, a rallying cry for an embrace of formal poetics (“part of our heritage,” according to Page) against that “upstart,” free verse.

It’s about time.


After reading In Fine Form, it’s not hard to imagine a paradigm shift, a cleansing wave of villanelles and glosas and sonnets sweeping the detritus of decades of lazy free verse back into the sea. Mine included.

— Robert J. Wiersema, Quill and Quire