Part three of our Fall Preview is poetry, a mixture of impressive debuts and releases by favourites.
The constraint-based poems in the debut collection, A Future Perfect (August), by Razielle Aigen, are written in the future-perfect tense, used as a way of bending time and playing with non-linearity. (Re)Generation (August) contains selected poetry by Anishinaabe writer Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm that deals with a range of issues, from violence against Indigenous women and lands, to Indigenous erotica and the joyous intimate encounters between bodies. And Make the World New (August) brings together some of the highlights of the work of Lillian Allen, one of the leading creative Black feminist voices in Canada, and is the first book of her poems to be published in over 20 years, edited by Ronald Cummings.
With echoes of Jacques Brault, Simone Weil, Baudelaire and Petrarch, in Of Love (October), Paul Bélanger continues his poetic quest for the sources of spiritual ecstasy. The Answer to Everything (September) showcases the definitive works of Ken Belfo …
If you're thinking summer books, consider Globe and Mail reviewer Emma Healey's description of Adrienne Gruber's poetry collection, Buoyancy Control: “...a book about water that’s really a book about bodies—what they are capable of together and on their own. Moving through lakes and oceans to dreamier, less literal spaces, these poems, like their subject matter, are playful and dark in equal measure.”
And now we're pleased to be featuring a delectable sample from the collection. Read on for the most tantalizingly titled poem ever...
REASONS TO CHOOSE THE OCTOPUS AS YOUR LOVER
Eight tentacles. A hundred tiny cups to suck.
Morphs to camouflage (i.e., your favourite
celebrity). Master of disguise (warning: a bit of
a player). Savvy; smooth talker who keeps you
guessing. Manoeuvres in tight places (has no
internal or external skeleton). Only the blue-
ringed octopus (his Harley, his soft leather jacket
against your cheek) is deadly.
AND REASONS NOT TO
There are dreams of others. Pressed chests
together like tight barnacles, the shredded silence
of wet open mouths. Gulp sweat and warm night
air. Swim in a glittery smear of phosphorescent
stars. There is always another imperfect fit; one
who eats deep-fried Mars bars and says your …