Invasive Species is the eagerly awaited debut collection from poet Claire Caldwell. In these poems the calamities of climate change and the dangers of the natural world are juxtaposed against the intimacies of daily life. You will hear the voice of a woman, mauled to death by a bear, asking only to be remembered for her courage. Wildcats invade condominium balconies. A girl learns how natural it feels to hold a shotgun. And in "Osteogenesis," the prize-winning final sequence, you will hear the beautifully entwined stories of a student named M, a medical school cadaver, a pair of young lovers and the body of a blue whale decomposing at the bottom of the sea. Caldwell renders all of these improbable connections in startlingly original verse, alive with compassion and wit.
Claire Caldwell is a writer from Toronto, where she acquires and edits children's books for Annick Press. Claire was a 2016 writer in residence at the Berton House in Dawson City, Yukon, and the 2013 winner of The Malahat Review' s Long Poem Prize. Her first book, Invasive Species, was named one of the top five poetry collections of 2014 by The National Post . She is a graduate of the University of Guelph's MFA program. Passionate about children's creativity and literacy, Claire runs poetry workshops for kids across the city through organizations like Small Print Toronto. She is also a volunteer with IBBY Canada's Readers and Refugees program.
"Caldwell?s poems are skillful in their ability to investigate large topics like climate change in a relatable and interesting way. The poems are often full of dissonance and strange juxtapositions that reflect our relationships with the planet and each other. " - Hunger Mountain
"These poems are as poignant, assured and cagey as poetry gets. Caldwell shows an incredible deftness for building the tension and emotion in a poem up to a pulverizing finish. On several occasions, her closing lines left me short of breath. " - Free Range Reading
"Caldwell plays with our imagination like a puppet-master, or a cat with a mouse. This is careful, precise poetry that rolls on the page as if it were being riffed on the spot, live and mercurial. " - Michael Dennis
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