Sandra Ridley – Post-Apothecary (Pedlar Press, 2011)

Mesmerizing poetic sequences and accomplished cadences. Haunting imagery that renders sickness and the feeling of being trapped and a woman’s fear of her captor. You can read this book over numerous times and come up with different threads: little red riding hood and the big bad wolf, the Victorian woman, a book of humours, little house wren.

Nathanaël – Je Nathanael (BookHug, 2006; reprinted by BookHug and Nightboat Books, 2019)

Hybrid poems of the body, an exploration of silence and desire. Sentences controlled by breath and heart beats. There’s an intensity to this work that has me reading it again and again.

Christine McNair – Charm (Book*Hug, 2017)

A series of vignettes from a black and white silent film colourized by an attentive eye, a fiercely beating heart, trouble and desire. there is gorgeous sound play here and a sensuous detail, texture, melancholy, fragrance, blood. a charm of poems, a murder, a murmuration, a defiance that doesn’t shout, it whispers. and you’d better listen.

Canisia Lubrin – Vodoo Hypothesis (Wolsak and Wynn, Buckrider Books, 2017)

Poems of forced exile and migration, of survival and celebration. They are defiant, fuck-you poems, angry poems and joyous poems. They are poems that so effectively caused me to feel empathy, compassion, love and heartbreak for people of colour.

Joshua Whitehead – Full-Metal Indigiqueer: Poems (Talonbooks, 2017)

These poems make me ache with love and sadness. They are genius fuck yous to the literary canon, to colonialization. They are Zoa’s neon heart and timelessness, memories as open wounds.

Amanda Earl is the managing editor of Bywords.ca and the fallen angel of AngelhousePress. Her most recent chapbook is Aftermath or Scenes of a Woman Convalescing (above/ground press, 2019). Her poetry book, Kiki (Chaudiere Books, 2014) is available from Invisible Publishing. More information: amandaearl.com.

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