Selected Short Fiction Reviews


“Alland has a burgeoning reputation for lyrical and formally inventive stories, and her work
is championed by the likes of short-story specialists Comma Press (UK) and ECW (Canada).”

-British Council, March 2018


Thought X: Fictions and Hypotheticals
(Comma Press, Manchester, 2017)

Thought X is based upon a standout idea – and is executed to near-perfection… It would be
criminal to not mention 'Equivalence' by Sandra Alland – simply breath-taking.”

-Bookmunch, Tamim Sadikali, July 2017


Protest: Stories of Resistance
(Comma Press, Manchester, 2017)

“One protest I had not heard before is that of The National Blind March of 1920. Sandra Alland
tells the
story of a Manchester couple and a Glasgow poet and their fight for justice instead
of charity, elegantly laying out the facts and context in three touching and human vignettes.
Her character Ada Edge stayed with me.”

-Glasgow Review of Books, Henry Bell, November 2017


“A cabal of fascinating and tough characters.”

-Bookmunch, September 2017


“A funny and sharp-tongued story.”

-Time To Read, July 2017



Selected Poetry Reviews


“Sandra Alland does amazing work with sound poetry.”

– Autostraddle, Melanie Bell, May 2015
(9+ Queer Canadian Poets to Break Your Heart and Put It Back Together Again)


Naturally Speaking
(espresso, Toronto, 2012)

“Elegant and electric... this collection is a truth towards ineffable laughter and new language junctions.
Alland's poems come from the disquieting collaboration between artificial intelligence and speak
to/from/of the processes of translation, identity and pain.”

– Sandra Ridley and kevin mcpherson, bpNichol Chapbook Award judges, 2013

“Alland’s chapbook echoes elements of language poetry, allowing the language to pinball and spark.”

– rob mclennan, Canadian poet & reviewer, March 2013


Blissful Times
(Book*hug, Toronto, 2007)


“Like a gymnast who is good in every apparatus Alland jumps styles like skipping rope, without ever
missing a beat... Alland masters language with tricks and tickles and makes this collection amusing,
full of play but never childish, never trite...These poems are as surprising as the Alland photograph
that hangs in my study. Picture perfect and pretty on first glance, something altogether different,
more radiant, underneath.”

– Michael Dennis, Today's Book of Poetry, May 2013

“Alland swings like a trapeze artist between forms: from the apparent opacity of language poetry to
the clarity of the lyric; from snippets of dramatic dialogue to prose; from internet URLs to geometry,
all the while exploiting, at times brilliantly, the many resources of poetry. Blissful Times is language
at play and in play; as such it reveals this to be the ultimate resource of language – indeed, it
allows us to 'read the bodies of words'.”

– M. NourbeSe Philip, Canadian poet, April 2007

“A rather amazing tour de force showcasing poetry’s aptitude for invention and re-invention... Blissful
, clearly, pays homage to [Samuel Beckett's] Happy Days. At the same time, Alland’s text rejects
the static, hopeless vision of human existence which characterizes the plays of the Theatre of the Absurd.
Alland replaces this Absurdist vision of meaninglessness with a dynamic – indeed, radical –
political vision... A disarming text, playful and entertaining, yet troubling.” 

– Open Letter: A Canadian Journal of Writing and Theory,
John C. Stout, Winter 2009


Blissful Times is the Groundhog Day of poetry volumes...Alland's innovation probably comes from her
background as a multimedia artist, poet, and publisher. Not one to be tied down to one title, it is
no surprise that her work cannot be tied down to just one form.”

– Danforth Review, Elysia Bryan, 2009

“...reminds me of Bernadette Mayer's belief that poetic experiment shows us exactly how much language
can affect empirical meaning... poems like these encourage the reader to look beneath the surface of
language, only to find more words there.”

– make/shift, Julia Bloch, Winter 2007

“Alland’s poetry flies, and it is full of her life’s intelligence and emotion, social and political connection.”

–, Summer 2007

“For those of us who enjoy witnessing a gifted writing talent explore the possibilities of text with an
almost scientific tenacity, the book never disappoints. For those of use who simply enjoy a
well-rendered read, the same satisfaction applies.”

–, Stacey Mae Fowles, Spring 2007

Proof of a Tongue
(McGilligan, Toronto, 2004)


“Alland’s poems will move through you like a memory; sensual and startling.
Proof of a Tongue is a gift that will leave a map inside you.”

– Anna Camilleri, author of I Am a Red Dress


Proof of a tongue is laced with piercing poetic passion. sandra alland's words speak hybrid truths;
storytelling with conscience and consciousness.”

– d'bi.young.anitafrika, dub poet, author of Art on Black


“4 me sandra alland is an xtraordinaree writr   both as an innovative sound n prformativ artist     with
deep wittee n poignant messages xtreemlee well artikulatid   cascading n precise   n a text based writr
with also great enerjee   xhilerating insite n probing cultural n personal depth   she is sew
deserving uv support n acclaim”

– bill bissett, artist and author of lovingwithoutbeingvulnrabul


“This collection of poetry by Alland is laid back enough to draw the reader in, with profound thoughts
to keep you glued to the page. From queer love to blushing words for Montréal, Alland writes
poems that linger in the mind.”

– Gaiety Magazine, July 2005


“For any queer who ever wondered "why I've driven/thousands of miles.../to get here" about Paris,
Texas or seen trailer "antennae/kissing the sky like water witches/divining for Oprah," this sparse
and seductive collection of poems is for you.”

– Curve Magazine, July 2005


“...a striking first collection of poetry, displaying immense talent and skill.”

– word: Toronto's literary calendar, May/June 2005


“...a warm and immediate body of poetry that shines.”

 – Shameless Magazine, Damian Rogers, February 2005


The Mathematics of Love
(13th Tiger Press, Toronto, 2000)

“Sandra Alland's poetry defies literary interpretation. It is at once accessible and deliberately
concrete, indeed, mathematical…When Alland puts out an entire book of her work, I'll be the
first person in line at the cash register.”  

- Broken Pencil, Emily Pohl-Weary, 2000



Selected Reviews of Edited Anthologies


Stairs and Whispers: D/deaf and Disabled Poets Write Back
(co-edited by Sandra Alland, Khairani Barokka & Daniel Sluman,
Nine Arches Press, Rugby, 2017)


“A nuanced addition to a developing canon of disability poetics; one that embraces
interruption and disjunction, explores the limits of embodiment, knows its literary and activist
ancestors, strives for a best praxis of accessibility… A genuine joy to read.”

– Deaf Poets Society, Robin Eames, September 2018


“By calling attention to histories of thought, and community values and practices that trouble
dominant colonial narratives, Stairs and Whispers participates in wider efforts to decolonise
understandings of disability.”

-MAI Feminism (Sweden/UK), Kate Lewis Hood, April 2018


“A remarkable collection.”

– London Grip, Wendy French, January 2018


“An education and a celebration.
A clinic in how to make a many-minded book into a poem all of its own.”

-Dave Poems (Edinburgh), Dave Coates, January 2018
Books I read this year that are not just good but fundamentally changed how I read poetry


“Sandra Alland’s excellent essay, ‘Nothing about us without us, no one left behind’, addresses
'writing to disabled, crip and/or D/deaf communities', as well as the crucial question of how
frequently disabled people 'can’t even get into the room'...
I was delighted by Stairs and Whispers’ radicalism and innovation... I challenge anyone
to find a poetry anthology that represents diversity and intersectionality as well.
It’s not hyperbole to repeat this anthology is groundbreaking, on several levels.”  

-Magma Poetry (London), Katrina Naomi, Winter 2017


It’s unusual for the form and presentation of a book to be as important and thought-provoking
as the content, but that is exactly what Stairs and Whispers achieves… As for the poems
they are exceptionally varied and wide-ranging. Stairs and Whispers is more a
survey of exciting possibilities than a singular expression of the editors’ tastes.


-Poetry School Book of the Year (London), Ali Lewis, December 2017


A great collection of poems, but also a manifesto, compendium and multimedia experience…
it feels essential.

-Morning Star Book of the Year (London), Kate Fox, December 2017



“It would be impossible to provide an honourable mention for every poem and performance I enjoyed
in this skilfully-edited anthology… It reminded me in some respects of last year’s The Good Immigrant, and
should be posted to politicians and available on the front tables of every major bookseller in the UK.”

-Sabotage Reviews (London), David Mitchell, December 2017


“Most poetry books only offer written poetry. This is one of the few that offers the reader spoken poetry,
visual poetry and poetry conveyed through the medium of film... The variety of poetry meant that I was
able to immerse myself in new creative styles every so often, and thus I stayed interested throughout.”
***** (five stars)

-Huntress of Diverse Books (Edinburgh), Sinead Anja, December 2017


“...utterly electrifying.”

– The Skinny (Edinburgh/Glasgow), September 2017


“Editors deserve kudos for creating a volume that will live long and expand in the imagination...
This book is truly essential. Buy, beg, borrow or steal it. It will change you as it has changed me.”

– Wordgathering (USA), Sheila Black, September 2017


Stairs and Whispers is a book to slam down in front of those who defend lazy tropes.”

-Poetry Review (London), Jen Campbell, September 2017


“Everything I hoped for and more… as accessible as humanly possible...
I was expecting it to be good but it was incredible.”

– Hannah Hodgson (UK YouTube Reviewer), July 2017