What makes a second book different from a debut? Two MFA alumni publishing second books this fall share their insights about the unique gifts of sophomore efforts. First up is Soraya Peerbaye, author of Tell: poems for a girlhood, on one of her favourites:
"Sonnet L'Abbé's Killarnoe. In part because of how she herself described it—that in her first book, she was striving to work within the poetic tradition she felt she'd "inherited"—and that in the second she was "actively trying to write back to that tradition and find a poetics of [her] own." Write back, talk back, that intonation of irreverence is there—it's a book full of radical play, cracks things apart, breaks them, wrecks them...There's a great suite called "Instrumental" in which each poem is inspired by an interjection—"Oh", "Duh", "Hmm..." I've used them on the occasions that I've taught, gotten students to voice them together, find a choral formation for them, and it's always super-fun—we burst out laughing, but they also get the musicality of it and feel like it really speaks to them, in the way it subverts the authority of language, formality, tonality...And there's another magnificent suite called "Z: Ghazals for Zahra Kazemi", which gets at so many facets of that death—the brutality of it, the bureaucracy of citizenship and protection...in so few lines. It's weird, grave, sad, and darkly funny...an anarchic ghazal. As a second collection, there's such a sense of freedom about it."
Tell: poems for a girlhood is published by Pedlar press: Reena Virk was a girl of South Asian descent who was murdered on November 14th, 1997, in Saanich, British Columbia. At least eight young people participated in the initial assault, while more looked on. Seven of her assailants were girls; five were white. Virk rose from that beating and walked north across a bridge toward home. Her drowned body was found in the Gorge Waterway. In this collection, without a trace of sentimentality and with heart-wrenching courage, Soraya Peerbaye gathers evidence into an entire poetic vision of contemporary adolescent fury and angst.
Another Story Book Shop, in partnership with Pedlar Press and BookThug, invites you to a joint launch of Tell: poems for a girlhood by Soraya Peerbaye (Pedlar, 2015) and Myrmurs: An Exploded Sestina by Shannon Maguire (BookThug, 2015). Featuring special guest David Bateman.
Thursday November 5, 2015
Another Story Book Shop
315 Roncesvalles Avenue at Grenadier // Toronto, ON
7:00pm // Free. Refreshments will be served.