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The Animal in the Room

The Animal in the Room

Current price: $18.95
Publication Date: May 23rd, 2023
Coach House Books
Usually Ships in 1 to 5 Days



Deer with binoculars, wolves with resumes: bioengineered poetry that unsettles truth, fact, and history.

Animals are strange testing grounds for thinking about subjectivity, language, the body -- really, anything you might want to write a poem about. Together, these poems are an evolutionary chart or a little bestiary - about deer, wolves, evolution, environmental collapse, and extinction. Each one stands alone as a contained organism, but like real animals, they share some genetic material with each other. Considering PTSD and anxiety disorder as a kind of animal experience, a self-protective mechanism, these poems embody the selves we see reflected in the natural world's creatures. Deer are a way of putting fear and trauma outside yourself, wolves a way to understand the instincts of predators.

"Oh the pleasure of inhabiting the mind of an animal like Meghan Kemp-Gee Her poetry is curious, restless, uneasy, and imaginative; it is also highly disciplined, unfolds in precisely measured lines. Watch for brilliant uses of repetition -- the slipperiness of meaning, its ever-doubling character, is on full display, played out in deft linguistic twists. A deadpan delivery amplifies the oddity of what's encountered: arsenic-drunk wildcats, chlorinated orchids, the 'one painful spot of blue' in a deer's eye. I can't say strongly enough how grateful I am to have read this collection; don't miss it." - Sue Sinclair, author of Almost Beauty: New and Selected Poems

About the Author

Meghan Kemp-Gee writes poetry, comics, and scripts of all kinds. She has also worked as a writing teacher, screenplay consultant, and ultimate frisbee coach. She received her BA from Amherst College and MA and MFA from Chapman University. She currently lives somewhere between Vancouver and Fredericton, where she is a PhD student at the University of New Brunswick.