Register Friday | April 19 | 2024

The Fall 2019 Book Room

Featured Book

NDN Coping Mechanisms (House of Anansi) washes over you like a cascade. Billy-Ray Belcourt’s latest collection of poems is an exercise in association: his work brings together topics from Indigeneity and myth to queerness and land, revelling in a dexterity of form. But there is also a pedagogical bent to Belcourt’s writing that evokes his work as an academic. These poems feel not just creative, but instructive. In some, Belcourt recalls colonial and sexual history in the same breath; in others, he finds new meaning in historical documents. Unmoored from constraints of genre or subject matter, these poems are about things—stories, history—but they’re also self-referential, commenting on poetry itself. In Belcourt’s fantastical world, a poem can be more than “a room into which I shove my autobiographical self.” A poem can also be “self-degrading,” a place to make out with an “imaginary ...

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