June 2004 to March, 2012
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A cover story by John Robert Colombo

far-cryCasting about for an image to use in a  header for one of JRC’s blogs I found a promising Hubble photo of the Orion nebula. John wanted something a little “out there” and fun for the site and he was pleased with the result.

Today, I received an email letting me know that the image was receiving further use, this time on the cover of John’s latest title. Click the thumbnail for a closer look.

Here’s the information that came along with the cover shot:

A Far Cry is a new collection of poetry written by John Robert

Colombo. The composition of these poems took place during

the calendar year 2008. The sweep and depth of treatment of

subject and topic are bracing. There is a memorial for designer

Yves Saint Laurent and a description of Malta’s prehistoric

temples. Included are considerations of the composition of

the human brain as well as of the complexity of love. Poets

are recalled: Akhmatova, Cavafy, Darwish, Outram, Rilke,

Whipple, Whitman. Nostalgia is served with descriptions of

films noir, specifically actress Patricia Jessel, Dr. Ordway the

Crime Doctor, and Chester Morris as Boston Blackie. Word

play and love of language and odd bits of learning are everpresent.

Here is a book that celebrates in an imaginative and

idiosyncratic manner the extrania of life.

John Robert Colombo is nationally known for

his collections of Canadiana. Among his latest

publications are Footloose (a consideration of

Gordon Sinclair’s travel books), Whistle While You

Work (a collection of essays written since 2000),

The Big Book of Canadian Ghost Stories (a compilation

of psychical experiences with commentaries), and End Notes

(a volume of poems composed in 2007). Reacting to some

passing criticism, the noted cinéast Reg Hartt made the

following statement: “The truth about Colombo is that he has

the wisdom of an old man and the enthusiasm of a young


Cover design: David Shaw

Cover image: Detail of Orion Nebula, Hubble Space Telescope


1 admin { 02.22.09 at 3:47 pm }

My favourite comment on JRC is this one, by poet Robert Zend, in conversation: “You are a one-man Colombo”.

Precisely and beautifully put.

2 Joni { 02.24.09 at 6:30 pm }

Wonderful! I love what he does with quotations. Thanks for this.

Perhaps, one day he will quote my Ostrich story;

“Dimensions are ways of looking at things.”


3 Ace { 03.02.09 at 12:19 am }

Beautiful choice of a header for JR Colombos’ blog, Bill.

Thanks, too, for your piece here that it brought me to the site.

Congrats for the design, which is now also being put to good use on JRC’s “A Far cry”.

4 admin { 03.02.09 at 12:27 am }

Thanks, Ace. It’s great to have visitors who leave comments!

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