A Globe and Mail Best Book
A debut collection from a startling new voice in Canadian poetry.
The poems in Admission Requirements attempt to discover what is required of us when we cut across our material and psychic geographies. Simultaneously full and empty of its origins, the self is continually taxed of any certainties and ways of being. The speaker in these poems is engaged in a kind of fieldwork, surveying gardens, communities, and the haphazard cityscape, where the reader is presented with the paradoxes of subsumed histories. With understated irony and unsettling imagery, the poems address the internal conflicts inherent in contemporary living.
PHOEBE WANG was born in Ottawa and currently lives in Toronto, where she writes and teaches. She holds a BA in English from York University and a MA in Creative Writing from the University of Toronto. She is the author of two chapbooks, Occasional Emergencies (2013) and Hanging Exhibits (2016), and was the 2015 winner of Prism international's Poetry Contest. Admission Requirements is her debut collection of poetry.
Advance praise for Admission Requirements:
• “‘Best forget / the satellite on your shoulder.’ And then enjoy that edge of anxious anticipation as you consider Admission Requirements; relish this smart poetry as it outlines the conditions of a diasporic imagination. ‘The lineup [she’s] stuck in,’ Phoebe Wang tells us, ‘is moving faster than most.’ The ‘lineup’ is, of course, poetic language, rambunctious perceptions of a mental navigator reciting the biogeography of an indeterminate world. This poetry meets the deadline.” — Fred Wah
Praise for Phoebe Wang:
• "Phoebe Wang's ekphrastic poems remind me that art is not just an object to be viewed passively but is an interaction, worth climbing inside and inhabiting. With a curious, restless mind she experiences these paintings and sculptures through searching reflection and fresh imagery . . . well worth reading and thinking about." -- David O'Meara
• "Startling. . . . Her poems respond to the fluid energy-field borders between life and art rather than to artworks alone. . . . She draws images on the word in the same way that conceptual art drew words and concepts onto/into the image. [Her work] engages not just the meditations on permanent human experience an artwork arouses, but everything in the surrounding era and consciousness of the viewing, singing, commenting self. Wang's grasp of the contemporary gives new readings to the classic." -- A. F. Moritz