Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Poetry Canadian

Dunk Tank

by (author) Kayla Czaga

House of Anansi Press Inc
Initial publish date
Apr 2019
Canadian, General
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2019
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2019
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


The much-anticipated second collection from Gerald Lampert Memorial Award–winning poet Kayla Czaga, Dunk Tank is a rich, imaginative, and sometimes absurdist exploration of the landscape of the body and of adult life.

In the title poem of Kayla Czaga’s sophomore collection, a teenage speaker is suspended between knowledge and experience, confidently hovering before the world plunges her into adult life. Dunk Tank reimagines the body as a strange and unknowable landscape: full of cancers that “burst like blackberries,” a butt that could run for prime minister of Canada, and the underworld lurking in Winona Ryder’s pores. Clouds become testicles and uteri turn into goldfish, flickering and fragile, but still ultimately glowing. These poems explore the varied and strange relationships that underpin a young woman’s coming of age, from inconsequential boyfriends to the friendships that rescue us from “grey daily moments.” Unsure of how the world works and her part in it, Czaga forges a landscape of metaphor and gleaming, dense imagery. Dunk Tank is playful and dark, comic and disturbing.

About the author

Kayla Czaga grew up in Kitimat and now lives in Vancouver, BC, where she recently earned her MFA in Creative Writing at UBC. In 2016, she received the Emerging Writer Award from the Canadian Authors Association. Her poetry, non-fiction and fiction has been published in The Walrus, Best Canadian Poetry 2013, Room Magazine, Event and The Antigonish Review, among others. For Your Safety Please Hold On is her first book.

Her debut book, For Your Safety Please Hold On, was shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award (2015), the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize (2015), and the Debut-litzer Prize (2015), and it won the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. (2015)

Kayla Czaga's profile page


  • Commended, A CBC Book of the Year
  • Runner-up, Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize

Editorial Reviews

The author is always inventive in her metaphors and images … All in all Dunk Tank is smart and heartfelt.


These poems of love, service-industry jobs, and small-town boredom . . . buzz with fierce restlessness and longing.

Toronto Star

Dunk Tank trades in specificity, intimacy, weirdness, colloquialism, and dark humour.

Globe and Mail

Reading Kayla Czaga’s Dunk Tank is like taking a ride in a hot-wired car from Kitimat, seeing how far it will take you … Czaga creates order from disparate-seeming imagery with an intuitive knack for repetition … Good poetry resonates on different levels, leaves you thinking about your own life for some time beyond. And in this regard Czaga’s poems leave you laugh-crying and changed.

Ormsby Review

Czaga manages to capture moments of maturation with the wisdom of a backward glance . . . Approachable and skillful in its poetics and narrative detail.

Quill and Quire

Related lists