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Review: Threads by Jeffrey Round

Threads by Jeffrey Round is a mosaic of lyrical poetry spanning themes such as sexuality, friendship, loss, and depression. Lovers of confessional poet Sylvia Plath or fans of Arielle Twist’s Disintegrate/Dissociate will feel at home in the pages of this collection. Round’s romantic verses are touching, not saccharine, and he does not confine himself to one format. His use of metaphor and imagery invites the reader into deeply personal moments.

Round’s voice shines the brightest in his small section of poems about the late actor James Dean (a man who some regard as a queer icon). In “Death of a Legend,” Round imagines an aging, washed-up Dean: “his crown too heavy / to uphold.” The narrative forces the reader to reckon with society’s obsession with celebrity and how Dean’s public image may have changed over time, had he not died while still young and handsome.

Although his work spans a variety of topics and poetic style, the emotional links between each of these poems are clear. At once a warm embrace and a sharp blade, Threads shows the breadth of Round’s skill.

smiling man, clean shaven, black hair  with his fingertips to his temple


Jeffrey Round, a Canadian writer and filmmaker, was born in Ontario, attended Prince Albert High in Dartmouth and finished an arts degree at Dalhousie University in Halifax, where he came out and was a regular at The Turret. He is known for his Dan Sharp mystery series, which follows a gay missing persons investigator in Toronto. Round’s latest novel, The Sulphur Springs Cure, was released in March 2024.