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In Mischief John chronicles the unfolding of our everyday lives with a playfulness and easy intimacy reminiscent of poets like Alden Nowlan and Al Purdy, his conversational style belying his careful control of language. Whether he’s exploring the spiritual or the temporal, the present or the past, the animate or the inanimate, Terpstra approaches his subjects with a mix of curiosity and empathy, attuned to how the right words can "begin innocently enough / to thread through the fabric of our lives." The collection was named to the longlist of the League of Canadian Poets 2018 Raymond Souster Award. "Vocation" in this collection was anthologized in The Best Canadian Poetry in English, 2016; guest editor, by Helen Humphreys; series editor Anita Lahey, Molly Peacock.
Barb Carey (“Six of the best new books of poetry from Canadian writers.” Toronto Star, April 16, 2017)
“Terpstra muses conversationally on the depth and meaning of family ties, religious faith and “what it is like/at the harder edges/of being human.” He writes with a clarity, compassion and understated humour that give these poems a luminous grace.”
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Emma Reilly / The Hamilton Spectator / June 09, 2017 Scroll through the images to a video of John reading "The Grasshopper"
James Dekker / Christian Courier / January 21, 2018