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Opening with an exit, the poems in Precedented Parroting accept no assumptions. With the determination and curiosity of a problem-solving crow, this expansive debut plumbs personal archives and traverses the natural world, endeavouring to shake the tight cage of stereotypes, Asian and avian. Praised as “lively and intelligent” and “lyrically delicious,” Barbara Tran’s poetry offers us both the keen eye and grace of a hawk, “red-tailed gliding / on time.”
How do we redefine the self when memory begins to deteriorate? This question is at the heart of Ghost Work, a suite of poems that explores a son’s gradual loss of his father from dementia. In compassionate, well-crafted pantoums, triolets, ghazals, and sonnets, Rob Colman probes family connection, digging into the liminal space memory preserves between our natural and built environments. Ghost Work is at once a tribute to a lost family member, and a testament to the fragility of the human condition.