Winner 2015 Lansdowne Prize for Poetry
$18.95 CDN / $17.95 US | Trade Paperback
In poems that are smart and gorgeously funny, Ariel Gordon’s Stowaways careens between life as we-know-it on the Canadian prairies and the frayed yet familiar edges of what-if. What if a beluga from Churchill hooked up with a Gore-Tex-ed tourist? What if knowing Morse Code would save your bacon during the zombie apocalypse? Half survival guide, half invasive species list, these are poems that stick to your socks.
Praise for Stowaways
In the closing poem of Stowaways, the surviving pilot of the first fatal plane crash in recorded history receives a small box of debris from the calamity, “to amuse him in his convalescence.” What a fitting figure for this collection’s loopy juxtapositions and serious surprises. The world in Ariel Gordon’s poems is one in which everything and everyone, from a sleep-starved human mother to a miscegenational beluga, is simultaneously endangered and dangerous. If Gordon understands our vulnerability, how “skin is a thin shield,” that even a birthday balloon, drifting from the back seat is “a kiss with teeth,” she vividly reminds us that those teeth are ours: “If I had had twins,” says the new mother in “Primpara,” “I would have eaten one.” These are nervy poems that refuse to behave themselves. They are something to celebrate.—Julie Bruck, author of Monkey Ranch, winner 2012 Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry
Ariel Gordon’s Stowaways is a scrapbook of tender snapshots and snappy comebacks, of fairytale hopes and roadkill truths. This collage of poetry carbonates my alive blood with the oh! of words and the ha! of hearts. A wet, necessary, beautiful, gluey mess of memory, putrefaction, and dreams!—Kevin Mcpherson Eckhoff, author of Forge
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