The Living Option

The Living Option : Selected Poems

4.27 (22 ratings by Goodreads)
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Karen Solie won the Canadian Griffin Prize with only her third collection, Pigeon, in 2010, and has quickly established herself as one of the most distinctive and unsettling voices in Canadian poetry, a 'sublime singer of existential bewilderment'. Her poems are X-rays of our delusions and mistaken perceptions, explorations of violence, bad luck, fate, creeping catastrophe, love, desire, and the eros of danger, constantly exposing the fragility of the basis of trust on which modern humanity relies. They are double-edged, tense and tender, an edgy blend of irony and guts, of snarl and praise, of sharp intelligence and quizzical more

Product details

  • Paperback | 160 pages
  • 136 x 214 x 12mm | 220g
  • Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1852249943
  • 9781852249946
  • 278,315

About Karen Solie

Karen Solie was born in Moose Jaw in the province of Saskatchewan, and now lives in Toronto. She initially wanted a career as a vet but dropped that plan to pursue her writing. Her first publication, in 1995, was in a prestigious anthology, Breathing Fire: Canada's New Poets. This was followed in 2001 by her first collection, Short Haul Engine, from Brick Books, awarded the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize and shortlisted for three other prizes, including the Canadian Griffin Poetry Prize. In 2005 she published her second collection with Brick, Modern and Normal, which was shortlisted for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry. Her third collection, Pigeon, published by Anansi in 2009, won her the Canadian Griffin Poetry Prize, Pat Lowther Award and Trillium Book Award for Poetry. She was International Writer-in-Residence at the University of St Andrews in 2011, is an Associate Director for the Banff Centre's Writing Studio program in Banff, Alberta, and took part in Poetry Parnassus at London's Southbank Centre in 2012. Her poems have been published across Canada, in the US, UK, and Europe, and have been translated into French, German, Korean and Dutch. Her first UK edition, The Living Option: Selected Poems, is published by Bloodaxe Books in more

Review quote

'A fierce writing of quickness and edge that can take on just about anything: the highway, Freud, farm suicides, sturgeon, all manner of flawed and far-off romance - with candour and a trenchant humour that's the cutting edge of intelligence. Not to mention sly skinny music, not to mention sheer metaphorical pounce, moves that accomplish themselves before you realise they're underway - Karen Solie's work reminds me that there is at the heart of metaphor a delicious amoral joy, that raw irrepressible humour often personified in the trickster which kicks in no matter how "painful" or "depressing" the subject' - Don McKay. 'Solie's language is blistered, contagious; a level-eyed, machine-age ecstasy, tempered by circumstance, where "Lions lie with lambs in the rusted box of a half-ton". At times trapped in a furious Now, at others gorgeously elegiac, Short Haul Engine is a truer music of consciousness for its shifts and confusions, a music wrenched from the what's-there, for the "overbuilt" and "jerry-rigged". Let the world revolve around the badlands awhile' - Ken more

Rating details

22 ratings
4.27 out of 5 stars
5 45% (10)
4 41% (9)
3 9% (2)
2 5% (1)
1 0% (0)
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