Pluck is a series of poems taking on issues of sexuality, female vulnerability and parenthood with delicacy and intent. In turn, Rosnau employs words that give way to feelings of both solid surety and waning doubts. From the harsh realities of sexual assault to the routine heaviness of child-rearing, Pluck's sharp portrayals evoke how "beyond the slick viscera, the sharp cries, the women brimming/ around the bed, is the memory of weight," or how a narrator "tasted the wreck of [her]self in a thick drink."
Rosnau often uses animal imagery to expose the primal innocence or ferocity of human nature, both of which particularly emerge in rural settings: "If you're a buck and I'm a lion, perhaps we're evenly matched to take on/ all of this. Come on, let's pretend we're wild together, fiercely protective/ of our brood." The complex emotions of strength, happiness, doubt and loss of self are all experienced through the lens of parenthood, with an underlying, constant reminder that "other people do this better, I'm sure."
Pluck also addresses struggles of the creative process and of finding meaning in a life dominated by domesticity: "I love a canned peach but, good Lord, if anyone mentions/ mine when I am dead, my time was not well-spent." Rosnau's words leave their mark, while at the same time wryly acknowledging the peculiar and untrustworthy juxtaposition of poetry with the everyday: "Whatever you do, don't listen/ to directives, especially not ones written/ in a lame kind of pseudo verse."
Laisha Rosnau is the author of The Sudden Weight of Snow (McClelland and Stewart, 2002), which was an honourable mention for the Amazon/Books in Canada First Novel Award. Rosnau’s first collection of poetry, Notes on Leaving (Nightwood, 2004), won the 2005 Acorn-Plantos People’s Poetry Award. Her second, Lousy Explorers (Nightwood, 2009), was a finalist for the Pat Lowther Award for best book of poetry by a Canadian woman. Her most recent book of poetry, Pluck (Nightwood, 2014), was nominated for the national Raymond Souster Award. Rosnau teaches fiction and poetry at UBC, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver Film School and Okanagan College. She and her family are the resident caretakers of Bishop Wild Bird Sanctuary in Coldstream, BC.