Reviews

“… arresting and hard to put down … utterly charming and disarming.”
—Georgia Straight

“Davie Street Translations pulls you in. Zomparelli’s language is muscular, touchingly specific and surprisingly melodic; his images hit you between the eyes. Disarmingly brutal and beautiful, we recognize this hyper urban life driven by our heightened basic instincts, regardless of who we are. This is a book of poetry you won’t put down. You won’t forget.”
—Betsy Warland

“Zomparelli’s knowledge of place and community is profound, while his dedication to his own poetic vision is unwavering.”
—Rachel Rose

“These poems pay respectful albeit cheeky homage to a host of queer writers and queer icons in Vancouver, in the process redefining the possibilities for what it might mean to write young, queer, pop culture–literate, smart and alive on these crowded rain-sodden streets. Here glosas, palindromes, alphabet, palimpsest, concrete graffiti poems, pop music anthems and erasure abut a ragged lyricism, hell bent on obliterating every last stereotype and polymer partition. “[T]here is no closet necessary/because bathroom stalls/suffice just the same//break them down, one/by one.”
—Nikki Reimer

“The moments that shine brightest are those of simple attention. Daniel Zomparelli bemoans a lover who remains infuriatingly thin in ‘Ugly.’”—Emily Davidson, Prism (review of The Enpipe Line Anthology)

“Daniel Zomparelli’s debut collection of poems, Davie Street Translationshas all the high-octane things we love in poetry: sex, booze, drugs, Beyoncé, gyms. There’s danger and excitement, fear and laughter, camp and heartbreak. In disarming ways he transitions from funny to sad to sweet to harsh to funny and sad again, sometimes within a single poem.”—Dina Del Bucchia, Canada Arts Connect

“In the end, Davie Street Translations offers a fascinating glimpse into ‘gay male culture in Vancouver,’ but with its tip of the hat to raucous poetry of various historical periods, &, in its most formally interesting poems, a dash of wit & deeper intents, it reaches for something more, & sometimes finds it.”—Douglas Barbour

“While illustrating the anxiety we inflict on ourselves and each other, our desperation to be loved and our escapism when we don’t feel good enough to be loved, Davie Street Translations also offers a glimmer of hope: we are at our best when we accept who we are and who we are going to become.”—Xtra!

Davie Street Translations is Daniel’s debut book of poetry. On first glance it’s easy to summarise the book’s themes as “Sex, Drugs and Rock n’ Roll”, though you should probably replace “Rock n’ Roll” with whatever you call what Lady Gaga and the Pussycat Dolls sing (“Poplectroskank”?). On second glance, though, there is a whole lot more going on in Daniel’s exploration of Davie Street. Davie Street Translations is filled with playfulness, humour and wit that push up against, and trouble, the undertones of urban alienation and suburban violence that anchor many of the poems. Oh and there are lots of form poems. And Pumpjack references. And formal poems with Pumpjack references. Put it all together and you get a collection of poems that are in turns funny, salacious, and sobering, and well worth a read.”—Rob Taylor

“We think we know Davie Street. The pink trashcans, the rainbow flags, the highest concentration of leather men in the Lower Mainland. But Zomparelli’s ode to that stretch of pavement from Burrard to Denman shows a side of the gay village most of us just hear about: the parties, the drugs, the violence, the heartbreak. But through the darkness Zomparelli finds love, acceptance, friends, and more parties. Even if you’ve never drunk beer with aging bears at the Pump Jack, you’ll recognize the world Zomparelli paints. Davie is a microcosm of Vancouver: it’s grey, wet and lonely. But if you’re lucky, there’s a sandy beach and orange sunset waiting for you at the end of the road.”—The Tyee

“It’s hard to believe that Davie Street Translations is Daniel Zomparelli’s first book, but then being Editor-in-Chief of the excellent literary magazine Poetry is Dead, contributing to various magazines around the city, and teaching writing classes tend to keep him pretty busy. [ ... ] His is the voice of the young and the old, the accepted and the marginalized, the cynical and the optimistic. If you’re an insider, his poems will make you nod in recognition; if you view his world from the outside you may be surprised at the familiarity of it all.”—Liisa Hannus, Vancouver Is Awesome