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Poetry Canadian

Shifting Baseline Syndrome

by (author) Aaron Kreuter

University of Regina Press
Initial publish date
Mar 2022
Canadian, General
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2022
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Mar 2022
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


A satiric and searing collection of poetry obsessed with television, oceans, Jewish history, and time.

Nature isn’t dying
it’s simply revising
its target audience

In Shifting Baseline Syndrome, Aaron Kreuter asks the hard questions: will the Anthropocene have a laugh track? Is it okay to marry your eighteenth cousin? How different would the world look from outside the life-frame of the human? What is it like to have an acid trip in a portapotty? Is it the end . . . of Earth? Of capitalism? Of television?

Throughout Kreuter’s sophomore collection, the TV remote is never far.

Shifting Baseline Syndrome is both searching and searing, veering between satire and sincerity, history and prophecy, and human and non-human worlds. As these clash ecstatically with loathing—and with the end looming—Kreuter demonstrates why we’ll keep doing what we’ve always done: hoping, for once, that the series finale will be good.

About the author

Aaron Kreuter is the author of the short story collection You and Me, Belonging (2018) and the poetry collection Arguments for Lawn Chairs (2016). His writing has appeared in places such as Grain Magazine, The Puritan, The Temz Review, and The Rusty Toque. Kreuter lives in Toronto and is a postdoctoral fellow at Carleton University. Shifting Baseline Syndrome is his second book of poems.

Aaron Kreuter's profile page


  • Short-listed, Raymond Souster Award
  • Short-listed, CBC Books Best Canadian Poetry
  • Short-listed, Governor General's Literary Award

Editorial Reviews

Shortlisted, Raymond Souster Award 2023
Finalist, Governor General's Literary Award 2022
Shortlisted, CBC Books Best Canadian Poetry 2022

"A would-be meet-cute scrounging for camaraderie at the end of history, this book is a stunning contribution to eco-literature and Jewish-Canadian writing alike." —Raymond Souster Awards

"Kreuter has found an admirable way to restore poetry to its ancient place as something very public and very political" —The Temz Review

“With a punk sensibility, Kreuter confronts the Anthropocene slantwise through X-Men and ancestry with biting humour, surprise, and tenderness. We discover primal interconnectedness, diasporic cousins, and the author’s radical Jewish ancestors over a pint and a piss. Shifting Baseline Syndrome is a book of poems to wake us up and rewild us.” —Shazia Hafiz Ramji, author of Port of Being

"Cleverly written." —The Miramichi Reader

“Cozy up on the couch with the remarkable Shifting Baseline Syndrome. It’s binge-worthy.” —Matthew Tierney, author of Midday at the Super-Kamiokande

“These are poems bright as raytubes, big screens the size of lives.” —Gary Barwin, author of For It Is a Pleasure and a Surprise to Breathe: New & Selected Poems and Yiddish for Pirates and Scotiabank Giller Prize and Governor General Award finalist

“The strengths of Aaron Kreuter’s new collection lie in his ingenuity of wordplay; clever use of analogy; sense of humour; and a lively, honest engagement with popular culture.” —Arc Poetry

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