Poetry. In acclaimed short-fiction writer Heather Birrell's rollicking debut full-length poetry collection, Mr. T, Joni Mitchell, Fidel Castro, and the poet's mother (among others) barge in to distract and derail the poet's dreams. The poems in this book are playful, hallucinatory, and often funny. They explore the far-fetchedness and perseverance of love between friends and family members, the importance of libraries and locked mental health wards, and ways to live with meaning in the face of a looming apocalypse. Birrell's poetry lines—weaving through an acrobatic breadth of forms and tones—are both precise and plainspoken, and showcase an odd, intuitive logic, embracing the surrealism of this world we're stuck in.
Heather Birrell is the author of the story collections I Know You Are But What Am I (2004) and Mad Hope (2012), both from Coach House Books. Her work has been honored with the Journey Prize for short fiction and the Edna Staebler Award for creative nonfiction, and has been shortlisted for a National Magazine Award. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Toronto, where she teaches high school English. Author City: TORONTO, ON CAN