Critical Writing

︎ Critical CV




Informed by his doctoral research in Theory & Criticism, John Nyman writes critically on a variety of art forms including books (poetry, fiction, non-fiction), visual art, opera, and dance. His reviews are regularly featured in publications such as CAROUSEL, Broken Pencil, and Opera Canada, and he is a staff writer and interviewer at smART Magazine. John also serves as a member of the Editorial Committee for Peripheral Review.



Selected Reviews


“Loss for Words” (Review of Ian Williams’s Word Problems) at CAROUSEL, 14 April 2021. [link]

“Living Violence” (Review of Klara Du Plessis’s Hell Light Flesh) at CAROUSEL, 3 October 2020. [link]

“Across Time, Style, and Genre, via Vancouver” (Reviews of Alex Leslie’s Vancouver for Beginners, Matthew Walsh’s These are not the potatoes of my youth, and bill bissett’s breth / th treez uv lunaria) in Hamilton Arts & Letters RAVE, 2 July 2020. [link]

Review of Katie Bethune-Leamen, La douche ecossaise (Susan Hobbs Gallery, 28 November 2019 – January 25, 2020) in C Magazine 145, March 2020. [link]

Review of Robert Houle, Histories (McMichael Canadian Art Collection, 14 September 2019 – February 23, 2020) in Border Crossings 153, March 2020. [link]

“Canadian Opera Company’s Turandot — Making people out of porcelain” at Opera Canada, 1 October 2019. [link]

Review of Brian Kim Stefans’s Word Toys: Poetry and Technics in Chiasma 5, May 2019. [link]

“Dark, Loud, and from a Place of Love: JC Bouchard’s Borderline Definitions” at The Town Crier, 14 March 2019. [link]

“From Act to Imagination” (Review of the National Ballet of Canada’s The Dream and Being and Nothingness) at The Dance Current, 4 December 2018. [link]

“On ‘Fail Porn’: A Review of Andy McGuire’s Country Club” in The Puritan 33, spring 2016. [link]

“The Ashes of Movement” (Review of Shane Neilson’s The Manifesto of Fervourism) in Hamilton Arts & Letters 8.2, fall/winter 2015/16. [link]



Selected Essays


“The Topic of Whiteness in Canadian Poetry” at The Negative Review (ed. Shane Neilson), 3 October 2021. [link - available only during October 2021]

“On Having Many Stomachs, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Arts” at The Town Crier (“Roles and Functions of Criticism: Comments on our Review Culture”), 16 March 2020. [link]

“The Looks,” FrameWork 4/18, on Scott Lyall’s Cave Paintings Now (Susan Hobbs Gallery, March 29 – May 5, 2018), April 2018. [link]

“White and Conceptual” at The Town Crier (“Conscientious Conceptualism and Poetic Practice”), 21 April 2017. [link]