A CANADIAN POETRY BOOK OF THE YEAR, THE NATIONAL POST
WINNER OF THE PAT LOWTHER MEMORIAL AWARD
Alexandra Oliver has many arrows in her quiverall of them sharpened to a fine point. This is an excellent and entertaining collection.”TIMOTHY STEELE
In Meeting the Tormentors in Safeway, Alexandra Oliver zooms in on the inertias, anxieties, comedies, cruelties, and epiphanies of domestic life:
They all had names like Jennifer or Lynne
or Katherine; they all had bone-blonde hair,
that wet, flat cut with bangs. They pulled your chair
from underneath you, shoved their small fists in
your face. Too soon, you knew it would begin,
those minkish teeth like shrapnel in the air,
the Bacchic taunts, the Herculean dare,
their soccer cleats against your porcine shin,
that laugh, which sounded like a hundred birds
escaping from a gunshot through the reeds
and now you have to face it all again:
the joyful freckled faces lost for words
in supermarkets, as those red hands squeeze
your own. It’s been so long! They say. Amen.
Oliver’s poems, which she describes as text-based home movies,” unveil a cinematic vision of suburbia at once comical and poignant: framed to renew our curiosity in the mundane and pressing rhyme and metre to their utmost, Meeting the Tormentors in Safeway is a five-star performance from Canada’s new formalist sensation.
Alexandra Oliver is in full command of a saber wit and impeccable ear. Lucky the reader along for the ride.”JEANNE MARIE BEAUMONT
Brilliantly contemporary poems in traditional forms, the work of a stunning new voice.”CHARLES MARTIN
Alexandra Oliver was born in Vancouver, Canada and divides her time between Toronto and Glasgow, Scotland. Her most recent book is Meeting the Tormentors in Safeway (Biblioasis). She currently teaches in the Stonecoast MFA Program at the University of Southern Maine.