Not in Vain You've Sent Me Light
By Cora Siré
Not in Vain You’ve Sent Me Light begins with a provocative, sometimes humorous exposé of two lovers and their collisions and triumphs, and evolves into a high-voltage portrait gallery, depicting heroes and artists, scientists and politicians, mothers and their conflicted daughters. ... Read more
Not in Vain You’ve Sent Me Light begins with a provocative, sometimes humorous exposé of two lovers and their collisions and triumphs, and evolves into a high-voltage portrait gallery, depicting heroes and artists, scientists and politicians, mothers and their conflicted daughters. Cora Siré draws on a multi-dimensional palette to deepen her exploration of identity, displacement and the cosmic powers of love and art.
Cora Siré lives in Montréal where she writes fiction, essays and poetry. She is the author of two novels, Behold Things Beautiful (Signature Editions, 2016), The Other Oscar (Quattro Books, 2016) and Signs of Subversive Innocents (Signature Editions, 2014), a collection of poetry. Her work has been shortlisted for various literary prizes. Born in Canada, she often writes of elsewheres, drawing on her encounters in faraway places as well as her family’s history of displacement.
He loathes French's / won't touch the stuff. / Where he grew up / the mustard isn't neon bright / but rusty as the cordillera / zingy on your lips -- / a bee sting at first taste.
Siré uses memory as a bridge to realization, and subtle humour as a path to truth rather than a way to allude it. Her words dig into the depths of people’s identities – ourselves, lovers, family and friends, strangers – to discover how much we can only guess at or what we might never know even over the course of a lifetime.
— Montreal Review of Books
Light can be a sunflower. And light can be yellow mustard. “It’s in the bruises the charcoal smudge of shadows … a whirl of prismic colours,” Cora Siré writes, as she uncovers moments of intimacy and connection, colour and joy, beauty and light in the private, political, and historically fraught wounds of life. The perceptive speaker in these poems stretches herself towards a sense of global inclusion in the local, searching for belonging by existing in rather than travelling through physical and psychic geographies of poetry.
— Klara du Plessis, author of Hell Light Flesh and Ekke
Cora Siré’s Not in Vain You’ve Sent Me Light is a lush and compelling collection of poetry. Here, everyday scenarios and even condiments linger vividly in the reader’s mind. Siré’s poetry is a moveable feast: We are treated to compelling portraits of historical and contemporary figures, including Rubin Carter and Uruguayan poet, Delmira Agustini. We are whisked from a couple’s first tentative encounters together – scars and all – to a whole array of settings. Not in Vain You’ve Sent Me Light is “a multi-coloured manifesto of love,” witty, charming, and filled with masterfully crafted verse.
— Greg Santos, author of Ghost Face and Blackbirds