Register Thursday | October 21 | 2021

The Fall 2021 Book Room

Fall reads from Jenny Boychuk, Carmella Gray-Cosgrove, Ian Williams and others.

Antonyms for Daughter

Jenny Boychuk’s debut poetry collection isn’t a ghost story. Or maybe it is. In Antonyms for Daughter (Véhicule Press), the poet grapples with losing her mother to addiction, guiding readers through the contradictory feelings that stem from her complicated grief. “I don’t know if I feel pain—” she admits in “Baby Fat.” “don’t we all eventually develop a taste for burnt toast?” Boychuk’s stanzas are both emotional and elegantly restrained, even as she struggles to untangle her own identity from her mother’s legacy (“There are certainties / I expected to inherit. […] A green felt coat— / but the bottles of white pills / sewn into its pockets, are they mine?”). In “Some Mornings, My Mother’s Voice In The Kitchen,” the speaker unexpectedly embodies Boychuk’s ghost-mother, pairing traumatic and soft anecdotes from her daughter’s childhood: “I once threw a shelf, aiming for ...

Subscription Required!

Already have a subscription? Try logging in.