Concerned with the disease of modern life, Nikki Reimer’s poetry collection, My Heart Is a Rose Manhattan, thinks honestly about the different ways we experience connection, grief, and womanhood in the urban centers of today.
Calling something a “myth” or a “legend” is misleadingly aggrandizing; it elevates while also implying that the thing being elevated is something other than the truth. In my yt mama, Mercedes Eng emphasizes mythologization’s long history as a colonial tool, and turns its destabilizing logic onto her own personal origin story as the “non-yt” daughter of a “yt mama” born in Medicine Hat. She ravenously forages knowledge from family hearsay, childhood memories, Wikipedia, a colonial history of Medicine Hat written for Canada’s centennial, and observations of family members, friends, celebrities, and craft-brewery bros. The strongest sense of authority among all these knowledges comes from the unspoken memories of childhood: in poems such as “race according to my yt mama,” an adult Eng restores the child’s narrative by drawing attention to what her mother was not seeing in their offhand exchanges about race.
I have a confession to make. I dog-ear books I’m reviewing. Reading wherever I happen to be, I crisply fold and tuck a small triangle of the top or bottom of pages I may end up quoting or referencing.
“So many things seem like a BIG DEAL.” So begins the back cover copy for Dina Del Bucchia’s latest poetry collection, and a truer sentence could not be said of our hyperconnected, contemporary world. Every five seconds there’s some new trend or bit of news we’re expected to have a reaction to, whether it’s outrage or joy, sadness or annoyance. It’s a Big Deal! tackles the concept of “bigness”―personal, ideological, physical, or otherwise―examining how we interpret and handle the captivations and distractions of modern life.