“Darling girl, when all else fails…join the circus. ” –unknown
“The “tight wire” is where the feminine is performed within the callousness of the culture’s expectations. ” –Sharon Thesen, author of Oyama Pink Shale
“Delivered in crisp, edgy prose verse reminiscent of Ondaatje in The Collected Works of Billy The Kid, Tight Wire unravels a circus-bestiary of “women on display,” of women struggling with “amateur heart” and “new skin. ” Gilbert envisions a new kind of June Cleaver here, a woman, a mother, a lover just as restricted as her famous, mid-50s North American prototype, but also strangely new too. ” –John Lent, author of The Path to Ardroe
In this skillful collection, images of the circus are central. The theme of these poems are balance: both literal, with ten antique carnival prose poems becoming the spine of the collection, as well as symbolic, with prose poems about women’s stories/voices—balancing their growing/shrinking bodies and their ordinary/extraordinary lives. Funambulism–the art of walking the tight wire, writes courage into focus.
Kerry Gilbert’s 2nd book, Tight Wire was shortlisted for the ReLit Poetry Prize. She won the Gwendolyn MacEwen Poetry Award for Best Suite by an Emerging Writer, and was long listed for the Ralph Gustafson Prize for the Best Poem. She teaches Creative Writing at Okanagan College in Vernon.