By (author): River Halen Guri

Finalist for the 2012 Trillium Book Award for Poetry

Robert Brand has given up on real women. Relationships just haven’t ever worked out well for him. He has, however, found a (somewhat problematic) solution, a new feminine ideal: the 110-pound sex doll he ordered over the internet.

Showing an uncanny access to the voice of the rejected, unimpressive, emotionally challenged modern male, Helen Guri’s debut collection explores Robert’s transition from lost and lonely to loved, if only by the increasingly acrobatic voices in his mind. Match‘s touching, whip-smart poems chart the limits of the mind/body relationship in decidedly virtual times. Does our hero’s lovesick, wry, self-searching and often self-annihilating gaze signal some catastrophic aversion to depth or a feverish (if unsettling) reassertion of the romantic impulse? Can anything good really happen when the object of one’s affection is, literally, an object? And if she looks like a human being, can you ever know for sure she isn’t one? Equal parts love story, social parody and radiant display of lyrical gymnastics, Match announces the arrival of a daring, forthright and stubbornly original new talent.


River Halen Guri

River Halen Guri graduated from the University of Toronto’s Creative Writing program, and has taught writing at Humber College. Her work has appeared in many Canadian journals, including Arc, Descant, Event, Fiddlehead and Grain. Match is her first collection. She lives in Toronto.


‘For its apparently effortless metaphorical reach I’d call this a page-breaker of a book, as long as you understand we’re talking praise here, not iconoclasm. Have I read a first collection as good as this since the century’s turn? I have not.’ — Don Coles

‘There is an eeriness at the margins of normalcy Helen Guri elicits with metaphors at turns daft, incisive, playful, pensive, but always unexpected. In a voice better read than explained, these poems stride confidently into the arcade of Canadian poetry.’ — David Seymour


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88 Pages
7.78in * 5.41in * 0.3in


March 15, 2011


Coach House Books



Book Subjects:

POETRY / Canadian

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