Kayla Czaga’s second book, Dunk Tank, is an intense and intimate exploration of a young woman coming of age that bursts with twists, anxieties, wonderful digressions, and metaphors. Some poems are worded so they swirl on a stick, drizzled with caramel and dark chocolate, others present a narrator who, to borrow from poet Ron Padgett, “rose like a piece of paper on which [her] effigy had been traced in dotted lines whose dots came loose” (“Stairway to the Stars”).
In the foreword What the Poets Are Doing: Canadian Poets in Conversation, editor Rob Taylor gives his inspiration for the collection: 2002’s Where the Words Come From: Canadian Poets in Conversation (Nightwood Editions) edited by Tim Bowling. Where Bowling’s editorial vision encompassed an homage to Al Purdy (who died in 2000), Taylor’s honours the work of deceased poet and Tragically Hip singer Gord Downey. The title, What the Poets Are Doing, echoes a lyric from the Tragically Hip song “Poets.”